Every once and a while life seems to be doing weird things to you. You’re confused. You feel like your art is confounding you and maybe you’re having some trouble getting laid. You’ve got a lot of shit to deal with, but you just can’t. And for some reason, you’re having trouble feeling anything. During these times, you might just need a good fucking cry, to bawl your eyes out, sob alone in the comforting darkness of your empty apartment. If that’s what you need, then Longtime Companion is the film for you. And fuck it, if it isn’t what you need, you should still fucking watch this movie if you haven’t, cuz this be a MO CLASSIC.
If you’ve been living under a heterosexual rock and haven’t heard of this film, here’s the breakdown : seminal, groundbreaking, late-80s film that unabashedly, un-glamourously and honestly portrays the AIDS crisis, and its effect on the gay community, featuring phenomenal performances by young Mary-Louise Parker and Campbell Scott, and young-ish Harry and the Hendersons star, Bruce Davison. It is and was one of the best artistic representations of how AIDS actually effected real people, and is extremely moving, educational and inspiring.
It’s a Monday night and three whiskeys in (courtesy of Salvi’s, a small Italian-American bistro just around the corner of Extended Stay), I’m contemplating the notes I took on What’s Up, Scarlet?, a little gem of a gay flick about an uptight matchmaker, Scarlet Zabrinki (Susan Priver), who meets her match in the form of a mysteriously foreign and homeless actress named Sabrina (Musetta Vander). We’re first introduced to Scarlet at a bar mitzvah where her mother is pimping her to any eligible suitor in sight. She rather unceremoniously announces to the relentless boner she gets cornered by that she has to go home and walk her dogs. Quick cut to Scarlet under a heap of pups and I began to wonder if I would be alone forever as I observed my own canine wonder sweetly licking his balls under my favorite hoodie. But I suppose things could be worse. He could be humping the hoodie.
Anyway, Scarlet’s life ain’t bad except she ain’t got nobody. Until she gets tail-ended by the enigmatic Slav (?), takes her home and pretty soon has a new roommate. (Don’t ask, it’s implausible, but at eighty-four minutes you can live.) Her mother’s stoked because she thinks baby’s acquired a Venezuelan housemaid – see BAD GAYS/WRITERS? – and Scarlet actually starts enjoying herself, which consists of a trip to the theater and an almost lethal threesome to more lethal muzak at around forty-one minutes with Sabrina and a French lothario.