(director/writer: Doug Block; screenwriter: Maeve O’Boyle; cinematographer: Doug Block; editor: Maeve O’Boyle; music: Jon Foy; cast: Heather Dodge, Sam Dodge, David Bromberg, Janice Caillet, Alexander Caillet, Yoonhee Roberts, Tom Roberts, Rachel Shapiro, Paul Shapiro, Rabbi Jonathan Blake, Doug Block (Narrator); Runtime: 95; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Lori Cheatle/Doug Block; Zeitgeist Films; 2014)
“Though everything about the pic is slight and bittersweet, it’s still charming.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Doug Block(“51 Birch Street”/”The Kids Grow up”/”Home Page”) for the last twenty years has been a wedding videographer. It helps supplement his career as a documentary filmmaker. To date Doug has done 112 wedding videos. He uses a few of these videos as sample material in this film, including his first and last, as he looks back at their happy wedding celebrations and checks how the couples are doing in married life. Just don’t expect any startling revelations and you should be pleased with this mild probe into married life.
It covers all kinds of personal dramas, as Doug intimately and pleasantly relates to each couple while interviewing them. The various couples all give candid responses to his open-ended questions. The couples include Brooklyn brownstone living young professionals, who say having a kid made them sleep-deprived; a sensible same sex lesbian couple, who want kids; a genial African-American couple, who have their hands full raising a child with a learning disability; a couple who met in a Manhattan pick-up bar and after 19 years married and raising three kids in the NY suburbs are soon to be divorced because of the hubby’s infidelity; a couple who amusingly talk over one another but seem in harmony; a together couple residing in the East Village, whose daughter was diagnosed at 3 with a life threatening illness and must undergo painful chemo treatments; the marriage of an articulate screenwriter with mental and health issues, that never worked out because of his illnesses (the wife didn’t show for the re-visit); a New Age couple that was not legally married but after raising a child and living together for 13 years decide to get officially married; and, the marriage of a Korean concert violinist and her rigid WASP businessman husband. It ends with the happy wedding ceremony of Heather and Sam, the 112th one for Doug, in the country fields of her hometown of Helena, Montana. After getting a brief look at the joyful couple, we can only wonder how things will turn out for them.
Doug’s marriages follows the national trend of half the marriages dissolving. Though everything about the pic is slight and bittersweet, it’s still charming.
It was made with financial help from HBO and the BBC.
REVIEWED ON 7/15/2015 GRADE: B- https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/