Posts Tagged ‘Mark Ruffalo’

The Normal Heart is a fictionalised account of a gay activist, who tried to raise awareness of AIDS in New York in the early 1980s. Ned Weeks (Mark Ruffalo, in a role based on The Normal Heart’s writer Larry Kramer) is horrified when gay men start dying of what is called Gay Cancer, and he starts a HIV Advocacy group, in an attempt to get the government to take notice, and to help raise awareness. Weeks prefers a more outspoken way of tackling the problem, unlike many of his fellow members of the group, some of whom are not openly gay, and this causes tension amongst them. During this time, Weeks falls in love with Felix (Matt Bomer) a journalist who is also frustrated at the restrictions on what he can write about.

The film also stars Jim Parsons as Tommy (based on Rodger McFarlane), a friend of Ned, Taylor Kitsch as Bruce (based on Paul Popham), another member of the Advocacy group, Julia Roberts as a Doctor who tries to raise awareness (based on real life Doctor Linda Laubenstein). Albert Molina also appears as Ned’s brother, who loves him but struggles to understand his lifestyle or the crusade he has set himself upon.

Well – wow! It’s hard to describe just how fantastic I thought this film was. It was heartbreaking and inspiring all the at the same time. Kramer wrote the play which the film is adapted from, in 1985, at which time the AIDS crisis was in full flow. I cannot imagine how it must have felt to watch his friends dying in such numbers, and yet to be more or less ignored by the government. Mark Ruffalo really portrayed the frustration and anger that Ned Weeks felt. Matt Bomer won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor as Felix, and it was totally deserved. (Ruffalo was also nominated for Best Actor). Jim Parsons – best known for the role of Sheldon Cooper in comedy The Big Bang Theory – was a revelation here, and brought a lot of warmth to the film

I could probably wax lyrical about this film all day long, but for anyone with the slightest passing interest in the AIDS crisis, or the political and social reaction to it, this is an absolute must-see. Keep a box of tissues handy – you WILL cry. Very highly recommended to all.


Year of release: 2014

Director: Ryan Murphy

Producers: Jason Blum, Dante Di Loreto, Dede Gardner, Ryan Murphy, Brad Pitt, Mark Ruffalo, Scott Ferguson, Gina Lamar, Ned Martel, Alexis Martin Woodall

Writers: Larry Kramer (play), Ryan Murphy

Main cast: Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Jonathan Groff, Taylor Kitsch, Joe Mantello, Stephen Spinella, BD Wong, Julia Roberts, Jim Parsons, Alfred Molina, Finn Wittrock


Read Full Post »

Elizabeth Masterson (Reese Witherspoon) is a young doctor, so dedicated to her work that she has barely any social life at all.  She agrees to go on a blind date that her sister has set up for her, but as she’s driving there, she loses concentration for a second and when she looks up, a huge truck is headed straight for her car…

Three months later, David Abbot (Mark Ruffalo) – depressed at end of his marriage, and drinking too much – is looking for an apartment in San Francisco. After looking at several unsuitable ones, he finds one that seems perfect and moves in.  But he hasn’t been there long when a young woman named Elizabeth appears claiming that the apartment is hers.  She turns up with increasing frequency – but she has a habit of disappearing before his eyes…and why is David the only one that can see her?…

I thought this was a charming and amusing film.  The two leads are both wonderful and cute-as-a-button in their roles and there is real chemistry between them.  Mark Ruffalo and Reese Witherspoon raised the movie above ‘made for daytime tv’ status and I ended up caring about their characters and what happened to them.  There are also some very amusing scenes (including a few laugh out loud moments).  There was plenty of scope for visual comedy, and Ruffalo played these scenes to perfection.

This is basically just a feel great romantic comedy with a bit of a twist…able support is provided by rest of the cast, especially John Heder, as a young man who is able to sense ghosts and whose help David seeks, but this is really David and Elizabeth’s story.  I’d call it a ‘comfort movie’ – the sort of film that you’d put on when you need something to smile at.  It’s definitely one which I will watch again.  Definitely recommended to fans of comedy and rom-coms.

Year of release: 2005

Director: Mark Waters

Writers: Marc Levy (book), Peter Tolan, Leslie Dixon

Main cast: Reese Witherspoon, Mark Ruffalo, Jon Heder

Read Full Post »