Sweet Jane 1998
1h 23min | Drama , Romance | 1 February 1998 (USA)
Jane is a drug addict who has just been diagnosed HIV-positive. Teenage boy Tony gets close to her and accepts her as a surrogate mother, but he’s also terminally ill with AIDS.
Tackling the AIDS issue on film is no longer something new or novel. In fact, many independent films of the 90’s have tried, in varying degrees of success, to hone in on the horrific and mysterious ramifications of this terrible disease. Sweet Jane, which inexplicably has just now been made available on cable TV, is one of the winners. Perhaps realizing the limited appeal of this heartrending genre, director Joe Gayton goes for broke, but certainly not in an over-the-top fashion. He gamely depicts the desperate world of junkies, prostitutes and have-nots, but finds time to flesh out the human element in all of the moral decay. He occasionally inserts an otherworldly feel to the more sordid proceedings, effectively producing a counter-element to the more mundane (yet essential) exposition. Samantha Mathis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are simply wonderful as the mutually put-upon protagonists of this subtly powerful film. Mathis realizes the potential that we saw in “Pump up the Volume” a few years back, and Gordon-Levitt exhibits surprisingly mature chops for such a young actor.
Director: Joe Gayton
Writer: Joe Gayton
Stars: Samantha Mathis, Barbara Pilavin, Kimberly Scott
Release Date: 1 February 1998 (USA)
Also Known As: Lepers
Filming Locations: Los Angeles, California, USA