TL;DR – Well, if ugly crying in the cinema surrounded by people ugly crying in a cinema is a recommendation for you, then here it is.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene
Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film.
Spoiler Alert Review –
I am someone who does not mind a good cry in the cinemas. It can be cathartic and shows that the filmmakers have connected with you on an emotional level. However, there is a difference between having a good cry and being so emotionally devastated that you are ugly crying in a room full of strangers. And when I say ugly cry, I mean ugly. Well, today, we are looking at a film that did just that.
So to set the scene, Michael Ausiello (Jim Parsons) focuses his life on his work, like ranking all the Gilmore Girls from Best to Rory [which like fair]. But one night, after being dragged out to a club, he spots a man across the dance floor that smiles at him, so he waves back. Actually, Kit Cowan (Ben Aldridge) was smiling at his friend Nina (Nikki M. James) at the bar, but he took up the bait. It is the perfect meet-cute, bar the fact that, spoiler alert, we know from the start that this relationship is destined for tragedy.
One of the film’s strengths is that it marries the traditional beets of a rom-com and combines it with the weight of a true story, which is good because ‘what if you combined Bros and The Big Sick’ is a much harder sell. But combining cancer and a romantic comedy is a difficult balance to get right. They get that balance by inserting these soap opera moments and a 4th-wall breaking narration that balances expectations. This adds some levity to a film that could have sucked you in with its emotions.
When you have a film dealing with a subject as important as cancer, you need a cast that can rise to the challenge of depicting this with the required authenticity. From my little experience, they get the moments right, even if it is a lot of set dressing and make-up helping along the way. Jim Parsons and Ben Aldridge have fascinating chemistry together, full of highs and lows. It was challenging to separate Jim Parsons from his older roles because he seems to keep playing these nerdy, insecure characters, and I would like to see him branch out. I think the big surprise was just how much of an impact Sally Field made with her time in the film, making every scene better for being there.
Finally, there is the emotion, which is the critical strength and may be an issue for me. To say that this is a film that touches on an emotional chord is an understatement. There was a moment when I was not just crying, but ugly cry. I mean full-on sniffles, ugly crying. It would have been embarrassing if not for those quiet moments when all you could hear was that I was not the only one in the audience in the same condition. But because this was based on a true story, you understand intellectually that this is not the actual people going through the trauma. However, it still felt almost like I was a voyeur, peering in on some profoundly private moment. A moment where a single ‘um’ lands like a thud, and you can feel its weight wash over the audience.
In the end, do we recommend Spoiler Alert? This is a difficult film to watch at times. However, it does hit that emotion, and hits it hard. If you liked Spoiler Alert, we would recommend to you After Yang.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
Have you watched Spoiler Alert?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Spoiler Alert
Directed by – Michael Showalter
Screenplay by – David Marshall Grant & Dan Savage
Based on – Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies by Michael Ausiello
Music by – Brian H. Kim
Cinematography by – Brian Burgoyne
Edited by – Peter Teschner
Production/Distribution Companies – That’s Wonderful Productions, Semi-Formal Productions, Focus Pictures & Universal Pictures
Starring – Jim Parsons, Ben Aldridge, Sally Field, Bill Irwin, Antoni Porowski, Nikki M. James, Jeffery Self, Brody Caines, Tara Summers & Shunori Ramanathan
Rating – Australia: M; Canada: PG; Germany: na; New Zealand: na; United Kingdom: na; United States: PG-13