Ned is an overbearing loudmouth who isn't good at making friends in high places, but he's passionate, especially since he is continually watching his friends and their lovers die of a disease that has no cure, no treatment and is getting no research help. Julia Roberts plays Dr. Emma Brookner, the one hope these Ned and his friends have at finding and getting a cure. Her ideas are not popular since they involve refraining from the intimacy of kissing and sex, but all she is trying to do is protect those she can. Dr. Brookner is tired of watching men come in sick, she is tired of watching nurses and doctors avoiding those who are deathly sick because they are afraid they can catch it, and she is tired of watching men die.
This was a pretty good movie. I felt that although there were times when it was slow, it showed both the heartache and the passion that the gay community had when HIV/AIDS first appeared. These people were suffering and not getting the help nor was the research being done to save lives. It wasn't until a heterosexual man in 1984 ended up sick that this epidemic began to gain more exposure. The movie is based on the life if Larry Kramer, the real life Ned Weeks, and is really very heartbreaking.
As I said before though, there were some very slow parts of this movie, and at one point I just wished that the character of Ned Weeks would be a little more respectful of his friends, especially those who had not outed themselves. I also found some of the other character a little too passive. These men were watching their friends die, and yet they were afraid to seek out the help they so desperately needed because they were afraid people would find out they were gay. So some of the characterizations were a little annoying and I would have liked to see a little bit more development in the personalities as the crisis became more urgent. Overall however, this was a pretty good and realistic portrayal of the beginning days of the HIV/AIDS crisis.