I'm Losing You (1998) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

An extraordinary example of auteurship in that Bruce Wagner wrote the novel upon which the movie is based, adapted it himself, then directed it himself.
I read some good comments about the insight and wit in the novel, but those qualities are not visible in the movie. The wit is completely absent. The insight seems to have been reduced to a soap opera plot where these things really happen:
  • they hold an all AIDS-positive party
  • one character finds out that her father killed her mother, than committed suicide. (and she was mentally unstable before she found that out)
  • a washed-up actor has a junkie wife 
  • to make ends meet, the actor sells life insurance policies to AIDS victims
  • the family patriarch is dying of inoperable cancer
  • a child dies unexpectedly

I found this melodrama unwatchable, despite a generally competent cast. If you don't know the meaning of the word "bathos", this is a good chance to expand your vocab.


The letterboxed DVD deems to be missing some nudity that could be seen in the full screen VHS version. As Rosanna Arquette walked on the beach in an overcoat, there was a brief flash of her pubic area.

The widescreen version does have the following nudity:

  • Rosanna Arquette's buns are seen briefly (out fo focus) as she gets out of bed.
  • Rosanna Arquette's breasts are seen in the bathtub
  • Elizabeth Perkins breasts are seen in a sex scene. There is also a pan which includes her crotch, but it is almost completely covered by hands.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen letterboxed, 1.85:1, spectacular transfer!

  • Full-length director  commentary (with Rosanna Arquette)

  • minor features

As much as I hated the movie, I'd like to take this opportunity to avoid committing the usual Hollywood sin of shooting the cinematographer because the script stinks.

Rob Sweeney lit the scenes beautifully, and captured them clearly, especially facial close-ups. I don't know if there is great artistic merit in the inages; I didn't get that feel. But there is surely great technical merit. The DVD is a beautiful transfer of the photography, and it is one of the slickest looking films in the best couple of years, complete with full-length commentary. 

Just goes to show you that looks aren't everything.

The Critics Vote

  • James Berardinelli 1.5/4

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it a reasonably solid 6.4, which really surprises me. I would have pegged it in the fives or lower.
  • With their dollars ... it did virtually nothing in a token theatrical opening. Total gross $12,000.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C-, or maybe lower. I didn't like it at all, but I didn't want to rate it lower because some people praise it, and the technical quality of the photography is generally superb.

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