The problem with a film like Pushing Dead
is that any summary is bound to make it sound like a bummer. It isn't. The title also makes it sounds like a horror movie. It isn't that either. Dan, the central character, is an HIV-positive poet, but this isn't a depressing drama, because it's pretty clear that he isn't going to die. How he's going to keep paying for his meds is another matter, but Tom E. Brown's directorial debut is mostly about how to live with HIV. Not just how to get from day to day, but how to participate in the world (the San Francisco-based director has been HIV-positive for 33 years). This makes the casting of Psych
's James Roday so counter-intuitive. An irrepressible mugger on that USA Network comedy-detective series, he has to tone it down here. Miraculously, he does.
by Kathy Fennessy