But it’s on one of those dance floors, on a rare night out with a colleague from TV Guide, that Michael meets Kit Cowan (Ben Aldridge), the man who ends up being the love of his life. Kit has everything that Michael wishes he had: Confidence, cool friends, and a muscular physique. And yet, Kit is willing to wait for Michael to let down his emotional walls. Besides, Michael’s not the only one with neuroses—Kit has baggage he has to work through if he and Michael are going to live the monogamously partnered life that Michael, in particular, seems to want.
The chemistry between Parsons and Aldridge is easy and flirtatious, mainly when they engage in witty banter. And “Spoiler Alert” does a good job of showing the lovable side of both of these flawed, vulnerable characters. You can see how these two could fall so deeply for one another that they’d stick it out through the hardest of times, from ordinary spats about sex and commitment to the far more serious threats to Kit’s health that drive the second half of the movie. (This is one of those dramedies that shifts from comedy to drama, instead of blending the two throughout the film.)
The film is very honest about the struggles involved with long-term relationships and filled with true-to-life detail that could only have come from a memoir: Michael’s obsession with Diet Coke and The Smurfs. Kit’s love of smoking weed out of a tiny metal one-hitter and ever-present digital camera. (The film is set between the early ’00s and mid-2010s.) The packaging of their love story is more generic, however, soundtracked by “Woah OH oh” handclap music and structured around Facebook posts and visits with Kit’s parents. Director Michael Showalter does attempt one flight of surrealist fancy by inserting sequences from an imaginary sitcom based on Michael’s childhood. But given that the best things about “Spoiler Alert” are its realistic characters and setting, these pivots into broad ’80s archetypes never quite click.