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BRIDEGROOM (director/writer: Linda Bloodworth Thomason; cinematographer: James W. Roberson; editor: Nicolas Romolini; music: Bruce Miller; cast: Shane Bitney Crone, Tom Bridegroom; Runtime: 79; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Shane Bitney Crone/Allen Crowe; A Virgil Films; 2013)
“Moving documentary.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Linda Bloodworth Thomason(“Designing Women”) directs this moving documentary about Shane Bitney Crone, whose handsome 29-year-old Indiana-born actor lover Tom Bridegroom accidentally, in May, 2011, fell off a four-story apartment roof in California and died. The young men, both from conservative heartland rural small towns, planned to marry in California after the same-sex marriage law passed, but when Shane’s partner of six years died his family refuses to let him attend the funeral in his hometown of Knox, Indiana, even though Tom’s mother was aware of her son’s relationship with Shane.

The doc was inspired by a 2012 YouTube video, that ran for 11-minutes and was titled “It Could Happen to You.” It was posted by Crone and went viral and raised awareness of the hot-button issue of gay marriage. The film was funded by Kickstarter supporters to promote the cause of same-sex marriages and it also promotes amateur film-making.

The heart of the film tells the story of the sensitive Montana born twenty-something Shane’s plight growing up harassed in his narrow-minded high school and after high school graduation fleeing to California, and then dealing with the tragic loss of his effervescent popular partner. To tell the story it uses endless personal videos. We learn the handsome boys met in LA while separately pursuing show-business careers, that Tom attended a military high school in Indiana and then went to Vassar, and learn they lived together sharing a home mortgage, were partners in business and that their romance was blissful.

The pic is sympathetically told without anger as a human interest story about love making life worth living and promoting the belief gays have that same right as others to marry whomever they choose. Its title is ironically derived from the deceased lover’s last name.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”