The Event

"Bad"

The Event Review


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.

Providing more engaging entertainment than the morosely uninvolving Matt, Olympia Dukakis and Sarah Polley play his mother and sister, respectively. The two of them provide a desperately needed dash of salt to some otherwise blasé scenes in which they either try to avoid Nick's questioning or provide unflinching support to Matt in the flashback scenes that comprise the bulk of the film's final hour. It's a pretty unbearable hour, too, as once any semblance of mystery has been leached from the film, Fitzgerald just tries to wring one more tear from an already exhausted audience. And as good as someone like Dukakis is (a long, silent scene in which she bathes an exhausted Matt is wonderfully affecting), even she can't breathe life into lines like, "In my word, love is above the law."

The Event has a cheap, cruddy look to it; this is the reason that people don't like DV features. It is also cheap in terms of story: by refusing to look beyond Matt's final party to the wider implications of what it signifies, the film removes all contrast from a momentous event, without substituting any meaningful personal interaction to make up for that shortfall. There is some attempt to look into the right of the government to make it illegal for anyone, most especially the terminally ill, to commit suicide, and the briefest mention to these kinds of parties happening more often than anybody would like to admit. But instead of venturing out into this wider terrain, The Event seems content with its own limited horizons.

It's his party, and he'll eat a cookie if he wants to.



The Event

Facts and Figures

Run time: 43 mins

In Theaters: Monday 20th September 2010

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

IMDB: 7.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: Alex Britton as Male Voice, Laura Free as Female Voice

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.