* * * ½ (Joyce) * * * (Don)
Everyone will tell you to bring your handkerchief.
Why? The spoiler alert title and the opening scene tells you that one of the main characters dies.
We are then introduced to the two gay men who meet in a bar, fall in love and marry.
Spoiler alert: One gets inoperable cancer.
Michael (Jim Parsons) is a workaholic, stay-at-home writer for TV Guide.
Kit is a handsome, athletic, swinging party-goer, who has never told his parents (Sally Field and Bill Irwin) that he is gay.
Like any couple coming from different backgrounds and with different personalities, they have their ups and downs.
Couples therapy leads to a separation, until tragedy brings them together again.
It’s a pretty familiar story that has been done with a heterosexual couple many times.
But the title tells you that this one has a new and unique approach and a clever double ending that will spare the lesser romantics from using their handkerchiefs.
The scene where Kit tells his parents that he is gay and Michael is his lover is classic. Keep your eyes on Sally Field.
The scenes with various doctors who have different opinions are emotionally wrenching.
A surprise scene at the end is original, throwing the movie into another dimension.
While a bit uneven in places, there are some touching moments that will make you laugh and cry (or at least cause a lump in your throat).
* * ½
(Dark, Political Telling of Classic)
Guillermo del Toro sees the classic story as it was originally written, before Disney got a hold of it.
It is dark preachy, and filled with religious and political overtones, to the point of scaring younger children and, at times, going over their heads with its moral lessons.
It is told with Jim Henson puppets and disturbing background music. Characters occasionally break into somber songs.
Geppetto has lost his young son when his church is bombed. He is a woodcarver, so he carves himself a replacement, telling the wooden creature that his nose will grow if he tells a lie.
The story is told by J. Cricket, an ugly, serious, black insect, who does everything he can to protect him.
He has the usual adventures with the carnival roadies and the whale, and some dark moments with the war.
Lengthy confrontations with death will be way over the heads of children and the ending may leave them confused.
HARRY AND MEGHAN
* * * *
(H & M’s documentary)
We watched the first four episodes of Harry and Meghan’s view of their courtship and treatment by the Royal Family, right up to the Royal Wedding.
Harry talks about their “Great Love Story” … and it is. He wants to tell the world “Who we are” and says it is all about “protecting the kids.”
Assuming that the Royal Couple are always telling the truth, or their interpretation of the truth, it is quite a disturbing tale.
The press, particularly the paparazzi, is the enemy, but the Royal Family are close behind. And leading the charge is the ugly face of racial prejudice.
If you are interested in British history, a fan of “The Crown,” or just want to see a shockingly slick documentary, “Harry and Meghan” is a must see.
We learn how they met, how they secretly dated, keeping their relationship from their families and the tabloids, spent time in Africa, “getting to know each other before the world and the media,” how they survived a difficult long distant relationship, and how their backgrounds and interests in service to others brought them close together.
I can’t wait to see what is coming.
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