The Cup 25: Parting Glances
This post marks the debut of new series here at A Cup of Coffey, where I’ll occasionally (read: when I have nothing else to write about) post about my favorite movies.
One night in early 1986, that year’s beau and I hit the double feature at The Screening Room. We’d read good reviews about one of the films, My Beautiful Laundrette. The first film screened was an independent we hadn’t heard of: Parting Glances. I was so captivated by Parting Glances, I barely remember that first viewing of My Beautiful Laundrette (even Daniel Day Lewis at his sexiest!).
Why am I writing about Parting Glances tonight? Because our beloved blog vivant, Coaster Punchman, is on the host committee for a special screening of the restored film — playing next week, Oct. 29, in New York City.
Some of the cast may be in attendance. I wish I could be in attendance. You can be in attendance. Get the details here — and take my seat, you lucky NYCers. Take it from CP and me: Don’t miss it. Get dolled up. See a great movie. Hobnob with great actors. Cocktail with CP and Poor George. Show Manhattan what a great host CP is.
Parting Glances is the first film I saw that realistically dealt with AIDS. Four years before Longtime Companion, six before the Broadway debut of Angels in America — more than a year before Reagan uttered the word in public. But Parting Glances didn’t win me over just because AIDS was part of the story. It's not an issue film; it's a slice-of-life movie. The characters — particularly Michael and Nick — won my heart, and have stayed alive for me these twentysomething years.
The story revolves around a gay couple, Michael and Robert, who live in New York City. Robert's about to go to Africa for a two-year work assignment; Michael’s staying in NYC. Michael's ex-beau, Nick (played by Steve Buscemi), is a rock star and MTV fixture; he also has AIDS. Michael cooks for and takes care of Nick. The love those two share is touching, sweet, real.
Steve Buscemi made his screen debut as Nick. He’s been one of my favorite actors since this role. Don’t you love it when you discover a young actor in an early role, and follow every step of his career with him?
I love slice-of-life films. This movie takes place over two days. Much of the film revolves around a farewell party for Robert hosted by the couple's friend, Joan (Kathy Kinney, who later played Mimi on The Drew Carey Show. I could never believe the Mimi character because I knew the Joan character — a loving, vivacious, kind woman).
Parting Glances was among the first five DVDs I bought, and I think it was one of the first films I bought on VHS. It has been on my Top 25 list since 1986. What puzzles me is Logo never plays the movie — although Longtime Companion seems to play weekly.
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