When you love someone so much that you can see yourself with them for the rest of your lives, you never truly imagine that life can be cut so short that you are forced to cherish the last days together ahead of a lifetime of dreams together.
This is the heart-breaking reality on which the film SPOILER ALERT is based–and yes, spoiler alert, you will cry, you will feel things, and you will have new perspective on making the here and now count with your loved ones.
SPOILER ALERT is the film adaptation of American journalist Michael Ausiello’s memoir Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Other Four-Letter Words. The book tells the story of Ausiello and Kit Cowan’s relationship, and how it changes after Cowan discovers his terminal illness.
The book covers an 11-month timeline, from the discovery of his illness to his passing. It also portrays the couple’s 13-year relationship through flashbacks. In the film, Ausiello is played by Parsons while his partner Cowan is portrayed by Aldridge.
Through Parsons and Aldridge’s portrayal of Ausiello and Cowan, audiences will fall in love and learn that while relationships are never perfect, they mold us into stronger versions of ourselves, in spite of the hardships and life-changing circumstances.
It’s the story of two unlikely lovers, Cowan, a fit creative with many admirers and Ausiello, a television and Smurfs-obsessed writer with body and self-image issues.
Not intended to be a holiday film, SPOILER ALERT is highlighted by the passing of time and Christmas, which illuminated major moments in Ausiello and Cowan’s relationship. Through Ausiello’s love for the holidays, the couple builds a home founded on whimsy and deep connection.
There are moments in Ausiello’s fears where audiences are transported to a fantasy 80s sitcom, The Ausiellos, where we discover how loss and trauma in his upbringing exacerbate his worries as the love of his life slips away. Still, in the quiet poignant moments of the film, we get a personal look at an imperfect couple that is perfect in their devotion to one another.
Although the end ending, spoiler alert, is not a happy one–the film’s ending leaves a sense of hope and new beginnings. More than anything, Ausiello is enshrined in gratitude for having shared a part of his life with someone like Cowan, who taught him how to love and how to lose.
SPOILER ALERT is directed by Michael Showalter from a screenplay by David Marshall Grant & Dan Savage, stars Jim Parsons, Ben Aldridge, and Sally Field. Antoni Porowski, Nikki M. James, Jeffery Self, and Bill Irwin are also featured in the film. The film is produced by Michael Showalter and Jordana Mollick via their Semi-Formal Productions banner, Jim Parsons, and Todd Spiewak and Alison Mo Massey via the That’s Wonderful Productions banner. Executive Producers are Michael Ausiello, Eric Norsoph, and Jason Sokoloff.
We had the honor of sitting down to chat with Michael Ausiello and Jim Parsons and understand more about their process with the film.
SPOILER ALERT is out now in select theaters with wide theatrical release on December 9. The film is rated PG-13 and has a runtime of 112 minutes.