Friday, March 18, 2011

Well, That Was Exhausting: Philadelphia

I'd never seen Philadelphia. But not for any dislike of the film; I was a tad too young when it came out (which was apparently January of 1994 instead of 1993) and then it was more of a "should watch" rather than a "want to watch" because I knew what it was about, I basically knew what happened plot-wise, and, honestly, I was already educated about AIDS and accepting of homosexuality so this film felt like more of an assignment, an education in things I already knew.

Also, this post is later than I'd usually post because I wasn't excited about watching it. For all of those reasons above and because I assumed it would be drastically and irreparably dated thanks to the leaps and bounds made in medicine and the slight progress made in society (even if there continue to be morons in abundance).

But, good god. This is the first film of our little project that's made me tear up in a serious way. And I gasped audibly with a physical reaction at moments--which made the cat trying to take a nap on my leg none too happy. The film is terribly moving and, sadly, still incredibly relevant. If we took out the few highly amusing instances of 1990s technology and squinted at the wardrobe, most of it still applies. Segments of society are still ignorant of the actual facts of HIV and AIDS, and homophobia is still sadly rampant. A few more mentions of God and sin, toss in gay marriage, and, voila!, it's 2011. And, worldwide, AIDS continues to be a subject about which ignorance prospers. Hi there, Pope, looking at you.

So, this film's content emotionally exhausted me but it's continued relevance killed me.


  1. What parts made you gasp? And I lost it crying-wise when the youngest brother broke down. And are we thinking Bradley Whitford *is* gay? That part struck me as sort of an intriguing possibility (did he and Andy know about each other?) that got dropped.

  2. I definitely gasped when he fell in court and at one other point but I can't remember that now. The brother killed me as did the conversation with the whole family about going forward with the lawsuit.

    Oooh. That is an interesting thread that was just tossed in there and never resolved. I have no idea and I don't know that the movie gives us enough of him to figure that out.