God, you wouldn't believe how long it took for me to actually track down this film, which wasn't easy or cheap, to say the least. It's a direct-to-VHS obscurity which has never made it to DVD and probably never will, but I love VHS so that really wasn't much of an issue for me. One of this film's biggest assets is its acting, including Brooklyn actor John Turturro as the lead character of Benjamin who is using humour to cope with death, Katherine Borowitz as his wife (soon to be ex-wife) and Oleg Kisseliov as Jeremiah, Benjamin's best friend and a fellow paleontologist. It was great as well to see my all-time favourite actor, British-Canadian actor Julian Richings, as the unnamed colleague of Benjamin's who goes simply by "the Curator".
I enjoyed the story, as there are many terminal illness films ('The Fault in Our Stars', 'Still Alice', just to name a few), but rarely do they go at it from a comedy angle. The only trouble with this humorous look at life and death is that rarely did I actually care about Benjamin. There isn't much emotional intimacy between him and his wife or him and his friends, and he often treats them like garbage, from having a affair with a sleazy university student behind his wife's back, to getting the curator to take a plane all the way to Chicago to look for him, to even getting Jeremiah to help him unearth his deceased parents' graves. He has no ill will toward them but he doesn't seem to give a damn about their own grief or confusion about his impending death very well. He's selfish, but at the same time this is all part of the comedic premise that his actions, coupled with his loved ones' devotion, cause.
It's an extremely difficult film to track down and might not exist anymore for sale even second-hand, but if you ever get the chance to see it, don't pass it up!
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