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GRIEF

USA, 1993 (MIFF 1994)

Director: Richard Glatzer

Schizophrenic opera divas, circus performing lesbians and Tourette Syndrome sufferers, these are the characters that Mark (story editor for a sleazy daytime TV court soap) conjures up to fuel the histrionic plot machinations of The Love Judge. But behind the scenes in the production company, real life is not so different, as office politics and dangerous liaisons reach fever pitch. Who's screwing who? Out of a promotion or on the casting couch! Can a crush on a 'closet case' ever bear juice, or is Mark going to blow his job as well as his friends?

Destined to be a camp classic, this debut feature from Richard Glatzer (whose own career includes a book on Frank Capra, being assistant director to Sidney Lumet and five years producing the television series Divorce Court) is a gay Soapdish with the trashy trimmings manicured to perfection. Grief cuts to the quick of all the biggies of the day - lust and loss in the time of AIDS, homophobia in the boardroom, boredom in the bedroom and life imitating tack. What begins as a spoof on American daytime soap is ultimately so much more. Grief is a witty and at times rollicking film about the redemptive value of friendship, combining 'feel good' comedy and heart-felt drama. Tabloid TV should be so good!

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