Spoiler Alert was a film I wanted to see immediately, despite knowing that the ending was tragic. However, I hoped that the journey would be far more powerful than the destination. I also love Jim Parsons, who is a brilliant actor. I knew that he would bring his skill and talent to this film just as in his other performances. As expected, he gives a fantastic performance, the ending was poignant but beautiful, and the movie is a real love story with all the authenticity and mess of life.
Spoiler Alert is a biographical romantic drama film directed by Michael Showalter, from a screenplay written by David Marshall Grant and Dan Savage, based on the memoir Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies by Michael Ausiello. The film follows the love story of Michael Ausiello (Jim Parsons) and photographer Kit Cowan (Ben Aldridge), focusing on the final 11-month period of Cowan’s life, from his initial diagnosis with terminal cancer to his death, as seen through the eyes of Michael, his partner of 14 years and later spouse. It also stars Sally Fields as Kit’s mother, Marilyn, and Bill Irwin as his father Bob.
What I like the best about this film is how true to life it is. The relationship between Michael and Kit is messy, complicated, and full of real-life issues. While the end is clear and known, what makes the film unique is the way it focuses on the truths between the two men and the surprises they encounter on the way. Even though Kit Cowan deals with a terminal diagnosis, the true love story is in the way the two men bond, and Michael’s support breaks your heart in a beautiful manner.
Even though the film ends in tragedy, there is humor woven throughout the film. From the beginning, when Michael and Kit meet, we see two men who are opposites. There are so many scenes that not only resonate with authenticity but also with laughter, all based on real things that happen when two people date, like struggling with clothes when in the middle of sex or discovering odd passions, like a love of movies or old cartoons. We see moments between the two, like Kitt giving Michael closet space and a joke about going back in the closet. Or how the pair have a photo for each Christmas they celebrate. Neither is perfect, Michael has body issues, and Kit smokes weed. The romance is breathtaking, just because of these realistic elements.
One of the other unique elements is the interspersing of sitcom scenes. Michael’s mother died of cancer as well, and one of the things he loved doing with her was watching sitcoms and soap operas. So as we see scenes from his point of view, it’s set up as though a sitcom show. These scenes add information and poignancy to the struggle the couple faces. It also adds to the humor at certain points. And unlike most flashbacks, these are key to Michael’s emotions and the story of his and Kit’s relationship, adding depth and emotion to the film. It is also a unique and different approach to adding those key aspects.
While it is hard to say for sure, not having met Michael Ausiello, I found Jim Parsons’ performance incredibly good. Jim Parsons plays tightly wound well. He has a mastery of performing characters that are odd or unusual and in this film, he shows the true range of his acting, giving us a humorous, heartwarming but emotional performance. His scenes with Ben Aldridge have chemistry and depth. Ben Aldridge is equally brilliant as Kit Cowan. He is charming and warm, his dynamic a perfect contrast to Jim Parsons. The performance of their relationship feels real and authentic. Sally Fields is beautiful as Marilyn Cowan, and Bill Irwin is as humorous as Bob Cowan. Every performance in the film helps the movie feel beautiful and real.
While the relationship does feel realistic, it does rush through their early life together. There is very little else to critique, though. Even though it is heartbreaking, and you know how it will end, the end of the film still packs an emotional punch. You feel the emotion that Michael Ausiello felt when he lost his husband, and yet, you see how true it is to life.
If you like authentic love stories and want to experience a real love story, I recommend Spoiler Alert. The performances are beautiful, true to life, and emotional. The story is rich with authentic details, real-life humorous moments, and brilliant use of sitcom references and scenes to highlight and delve into Michael Ausiello’s emotions. The story is heartbreaking, but a real relationship between two flawed humans, and that is what makes it so incredibly perfect.
Rating: 4.5 photos out of 5.
Official Website: Spoiler Alert | Official Website | December 02 2022
Based on Michael Ausiello’s best-selling memoir “SPOILER ALERT” the film is a heartwarming, funny and life-affirming story of how Michael and Kit’s relationship is transformed and deepened when one of them falls ill.
SPOILER ALERT opens in Phoenix on Friday, December 9, 2022, and opens wide in the weeks to follow.
ONE-LINER: Love never stops surprising you, even when you know how it ends.