Steve Hillyer

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The Event Review


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Who wouldn't want to have a party before they died? In The Event, Matt Shapiro (Don McKellar), a talented young cello player dying of AIDS, decides to do just that before having his friends and family help him to kill himself. Everyone gets together, blasts music, has champagne, and twirls under the disco ball, wishing Matt a fond farewell into the afterlife. This is all well and good until district attorney Nick (Parker Posey) starts nosing into Matt's death, noting that several of the recently dead people who were under the care of AIDS clinic worker, and Matt's friend, Brian (Brent Carver), died with unusually high amounts of drugs in their system.

Although director and co-writer Thom Fitzgerald sets us up for a mystery at the beginning of the film - Who is Matt? Did he commit suicide? What will Nick find? - the story quickly derails into an extremely sappy and self-indulgent amble through Matt's life, which didn't seem to be terribly interesting. We are given hardly anything of Matt prior to his disease, he is only presented as an AIDS victim, and one particularly prone to flights of self-pity. While The Event is refreshingly candid about many of the particulars of the disease, resisting the melodramatic impulse to keep the more physically unpleasant aspects of it hidden away, it is much less honest and forthcoming about Matt's relationships.

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Who wouldn't want to have a party before they died? In The Event, Matt Shapiro...

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