Synopsis by Mark Deming
Eight friends spend three weekends in the country over the course of a summer as they explore their sometimes conflicting attitudes about love, sex, friendship, life, and death in this screen adaptation of Terrence McNally's award-winning play. Gregory Mitchell (Stephen Bogardus) is a successful choreographer whose skills as a dancer have begun to decay as he slips into middle age. He has a handsome summer home in Upstate New York which he shares with his lover Bobby Brahms (Justin Kirk). Gregory and Bobby often invite several of their friends to join them for holiday weekends: Perry Sellars (Stephen Spinella) and Arthur Rape (John Benjamin Hickey) are a pair of yuppies (complete with a Volvo) who have been a couple for 14 years (as Perry jokes, "We're role models -- it's very stressful"). John Jeckyll (John Glover), a musician and composer with a short temper and a witheringly bitter sense of humor, arrives with his latest boyfriend, Ramon Fornos (Randy Becker), a good-looking dancer who often suffers the wrath of John's foul mood. Buzz Hauser (Jason Alexander) is a witty and flamboyant enthusiast of the Broadway theater who describes his greatest fear as a production of The King and I starring Tommy Tune and Elaine Stritch; he's also HIV-positive, though he stubbornly refuses to discuss his condition with his friends. And John's twin brother James Jeckyll (also played by John Glover) is his brother's polar opposite, a kind and forgiving soul who is now living with AIDS. Love! Valour! Compassion! was directed by Joe Mantello, who also directed the original New York stage production; this film also reunites the show's New York cast, with the exception of Jason Alexander, who stepped into the role created by Nathan Lane.
AIDS, homosexual, refuge