“I want to leave because it’s gotten too settled — [too] predictable.”
On the night before his longtime lover (John Bolger) is due to depart for a job in Africa, Michael (Richard Ganoung) visits his HIV-positive friend Nick (Steve Buscemi) and must confront Bolger’s true motivation for leaving.
Parting Glances — the only film writer/director Bill Sherwood made before his death from AIDS in 1990 — is beloved by many as one of the most authentic representations of gay life in 1980s New York. Unfortunately, however, it never manages to transcend its low-budget indie roots: the supporting characters (including an overweight “troll” and a fag hag) are stereotypical, the acting is (mostly) amateurish, and the script seems forced (particularly near the end). It’s primarily worth watching to see Steve Buscemi in his first major screen role — he already shows evidence of his unique cinematic presence.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Steve Buscemi as Nick
- A heartfelt — if not entirely successful — portrait of friendship and loyalty in the early days of AIDS
No, though it’s worth a look simply for historical purposes.