Less than 24 hours after renewing “Looking,” HBO continues its big gay roll: The network has set May 25th for the debut of one of the most anticipated (in my eyes, at least) films of 2014, “The Normal Heart.”
Based on Larry Kramer’s groundbreaking 1985 play, the film is based on a screenplay by Kramer itself. It follows New York-based writer and gay activist Ned Weeks as he struggles to pull together an organization focused on raising awareness about AIDS, which at that point had yet to even find a name (before it was AIDS, it was called, seriously — GRID, or Gay Related Immune Deficiency).
Mark Ruffalo plays Weeks in the film, and he leads a pretty dreamy cast that impressively includes a lot of out gay men: Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Jonathan Groff and BD Wong join Julia Roberts, Alfred Molina, Joe Mantello, Taylor Kitsch, Denis O’Hare and Corey Stoll.
It’s been a long while since we’ve seen an unflinching narrative take on the onset of AIDS (sorry, “Dallas Buyers Club”), so I’M extremely excited/nervous to see how “The Normal Heart” turns out. The only thing that makes me a little concerned? It’s directed by Ryan Murphy, who hasn’t exactly excelled when it comes to feature films (myself and at least 3 other /bent contributors count “Eat Pray Love” as one of the worst movies we’ve ever seen). But here’s hoping “The Normal Heart” bucks that trend and gives us a new film to place in the all-too-small canon of great HIV/AIDS cinema. We’ll find out May 25th.