[Left] This film is so obscure that Google Images came up with nothing. Instead, feast your eyes upon the first thing it did spit out, a bizarre picture of Michael Jackson. I believe this was his "woman" phase, which came shortly before he morphed into a nose-less monster, but after he was an awesome black dude.
So, In The Shadow of Love is one of those cheesy 1990s movies that teachers made me watch in health class. Except that the other day, they were still inexplicably using it for instruction in a class I was substituting for.
The quick plot synopsis: red-haired high school student (think the girl from Wild and Crazy Kids, but not her) is doing a project for journalism class, and wants to do some fluff piece. The "tough girl" from the streets convinces her to do a project on AIDS. She goes to a meeting and freaks out, but goes back and they do their project. Later, redhead girl finds out she has AIDS from sailor boyfriend. The end.
Like the other crappy health movie review I did for the Candance Cameron vehicle Freshman Fall (only time that sentence has been typed in history by the way), this film inexplicably passed for "quality" in the 1990s. On paper, it sounds ludicrous, and watching it, it is even more ludicrous.
I'm having trouble remembering why I found it so reprehensible, but luckily, I tried to keep notes while watching. Unluckily, they're a bit hard to decipher, but are great out-of-context. Here are some of the issues I had with the film:
The most cheerful AIDS movie ever. Musical montages. 1990s wardrobe fun. Popeye the sailor? Cringeworthy line: No balloons, no party (condoms). Harvey Fierstein on AIDS: Well that's one reason we have an epidemic *HUGE SMILE*. Rapping "turkeys". Blant ads with Peter Jennings.
So apparently, there was all sorts of fail going on with this movie, which is always nice. When people pick on the 1990s, they always go right for stuff like Vanilla Ice. While "Ice Ice Baby" stole the beat from Queen and David Bowie, it was an OK song in general. It wasn't shit, like plenty of songs I heard on WBRU in the late 1990s, stuff that makes Limp Bizkit look like fine art and that nobody remembers anymore.
In a similar vein, some guy on Slate.com slagged on a decent collaboration from my youth - Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue. For those of you interested in watching or rewatching it, the full video is here on YouTube. It is absolutely shameless cross-promotion, but it is for a good cause, and I found it far more engaging and informative than anything I ever watched in health class. I think part of the problem is that the prick reviewing it for Slate looked like he was in his 30s, meaning he was probably too old to appreciate it.