Spoiler Alert is a sentimental snapshot of a relationship with an inevitable ending that shares the importance of grasping onto something you love before it leaves you through
From the title alone, Spoiler Alert lets its audience know in the beginning that this LGBTQ+ romance drama will end in tears. Adapted from Michael Ausiello’s memoir of the same name, the film recounts the love story between Michael and his late husband, Kit.
Michael Ausiello (Jim Parsons) was raised on TV where every show ended with a tender score in the background as a parental figure was giving a speech and suddenly everyone is hugging and the problem has been resolved. His young love for TV has brought him into his career as a New York-based TV Guide writer. The work consists of articles about Felicity and reality TV that serves as escapism and sets unrealistic expectations about the world in the early 2000s. After work one night, a coworker invites him to jock night at a bar. With a few drinks in his system, he exchanges glances with an aspiring photographer, Kit Cowan (Ben Aldridge), across the room marking the start of Michael and Kit’s decade-long romance.
Ignoring roadblocks, the two pursue a relationship together. They are very different from one another with Michael feeling childlike and less experienced than Kit. He has lived a more sheltered life compared to the hot photographer. The script highlights many differences between the two such as Michael’s Smurf collection and TV obsession compared to Kit’s smoking and never owning a TV, making them fit into the archetype of the odd couple. It is the little things that define their story as with any relationship, partners discover each other’s quirks that could make or break it.
The film spends quite some time perfectly setting up their relationship and walking the audience through how it evolves from first glances to vows. Something is charming about both of them that makes them an interesting couple to watch. Parsons and Aldridge have kinetic chemistry that makes this couple work; it feels like each actor could be their character. There is sincerity in their performances that makes those final moments hit the right emotional cords.
After Kit’s diagnosis is revealed, Michael does his best to make the most of the remaining time they have left together. A big part of the story is Michael’s love of Christmas with each year spent under the tree snuggling as they continue to grow old with one another. They know what is eventually coming, and Michael continues the tradition with the thought of not being able to grow old together. Michael has always known Kit will leave him which is part of the story’s pain.
Spoiler Alert is a satisfying watch as it presents a straightforward, engaging look into a relationship that is sympathetic to its leads. By the inevitable end of their story, both men have learned something from one another and grown as people. Michael finally moves on from his childhood baggage while Kit becomes more immersed in his life. The film removes the complexities of their relationship from the book and streamlines it to be simple for the viewer.
Director Michael Showalter skips out on a flashy aesthetic but utilizes his TV background to style flashbacks into a 90s family sitcom. These moments allow the audience to enter Michael’s mind and understand how he feels throughout the film. Though the script stays grounded throughout the entire story it lingers into rom-com trope territory that makes it reminiscent of the late 90s/ early 2000s films.
While lacking substance, Spoiler Alert plays it safe by looking at the small moments in life and making the most of them. The film is full of laughter and tears and reminds us that even though death is our ending, there is a life to live before it comes to a close.
Should be Considered: None
Release Date: December 2, 2022
Where to Watch: In Theaters
Lives in LA
Favorite Director: David Fincher