Spoiler Alert holds the key in its title. Based on the book Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies by Michael Ausiello, is a moving portrayal of love in a gay relationship that is posing as an unconventional romantic comedy.
Michael (Jim Parsons) is a writer who ends up meeting and beginning a relationship with photographer Kit Cowan (Ben Aldridge) that ends up lasting them 14 years and seeing through many trials and tribulations.
From a narrative point of view, Spoiler Alert is cliched and struggles to balance the comedy and drama of the story, particularly with a pair of unlikeable lead characters with lots of flaws. Director Michael Showalter, approaches the work similarly to his past film The Big Sick and The Eyes of Tammy Faye, to less of an impact.
The performances are strong. Aldridge, who is also starring in the horror thriller Knock At The Cabin in cinemas concurrently, shines as a flawed man who is consistently trying to do better and maintains his likeability despite these moments. Opposite him is Parsons, who is his regular nerdy and endearing self, not making Michael, unlike his past characters. Fortunately, their chemistry is electric and drives the story along.
Two other performers provide a strange inclusion. Sally Field plays Kit’s mother in a role that feels like it should have been bigger and her empathy oozes through the character. Meanwhile, Antoni Porowski of Queer Eye fame plays Kit’s other lover, and acts awkwardly amongst a cast of serious actors, undermining the film.
The film struggles to convince us that a decade has passed, but this can be easily forgotten given the strong emotional performances. The themes of love in challenging times and acceptance of one’s mistakes are at the heart of the film and make for a touching film. It’s a tough film to watch at times but its celebration and commemoration of the highs and lows of life make it worth watching.