›› I Do
a film by Glenn Gaylord.
2012 | 91 mins | US.
principal players: David W Ross / Jack Edwards, Jamie-Lynn Sigler / Ali Federman, Alicia Witt / Mya Edwards, Maurice Compte / Mano Alfaro, Mickey Cottrell / Sam, Jessica Tyler Brown / Tara Edwards, Patricia Belcher / Gloria, Ashleigh Sumner / Christina, Mike Manning / Craig and Grant Bowler as Peter Edwards.
Adapted Synopsis: "Devastated by the sudden loss of his older brother, lovable Jack Edwards becomes the caring gay uncle to his sister-in-law Mya and his adorable niece Tara. And all is fine in their lives, that is until Jack, a British man living in New York City, finds himself at risk of losing everything he holds dear when his work visa is denied.
Facing deportation, Jack enters into a marriage of convenience with his lesbian best friend Ali, only for Ali to later opt for a divorce when she finds her newfound husband spending more time with Spanish, but proud green card holder Mano. Madly in love with each other, the answer to Jack's need for permanent residence is all but clear, only for the loving pair to discover that a gay relationship is not recognised in the eyes of American federal law. With seemingly no options left, what are the two to do to stay as one?"
You have to hand it to director Glenn Gaylord of Eating Out: All You Can Eat fame, in that he knows how to cinematically entertain the boys and this acute meditation on love is joyously no exception. Indeed the list of the film's pros in almost never ending; from the solid cinematography of David Maurice Gil, to the heart-warming screenplay by writer and lead David W Ross, this is a gay love story finely told, as Jack struggles to balance his father-like duties with the homosexual calling of his heart, all awhile aware that the US immigration service could come knocking on his door at any given moment.
For it is in this mix of romance and drama that reality hits home and here cue the telling line: "immigration is a federal level right; as the law stands with gay marriage only being on the state level, your marriage would mean nothing ... you don't have the same rights as a straight couple." In short, this is a work that has gone out of its way to deliver a sermon on the topical issue of gay marriage equality in America. Once raised however, it is not allowed to dominate the proceedings, as the central theme is the growing bond between the two men; nights spent with Mano that lay the seeds of jealously to Jack's increasingly neglected - wife.
With this ring I have to wed in I Do.
Wondrously played by a splendid cast, frankly are all worthy of specific praise, but if pressed standing ovations would have to go to Mickey Cottrell as Jack's older and mentor-like friend Sam, Alicia Witt as a sister-in-law harbouring many a pent-up emotion, together with Jessica Tyler Brown as Jack's ever so cute niece Tara, not overlooking and how could you, Mike (The Brothers Sinclair) Manning as the lush man-candy or should that be f**k-buddy of the piece. Only and for all of the film's positives, I feel a BUT coming.
Gay love in the face of federal law in I Do.
In that and somehow I felt that at times our pair of lovers could have done with a bit more passion between them. Not that this is to take anything away from David W Ross who has done a brilliant job both behind and in front of the camera. Nor for that matter does Maurice Compte's portrayal of Mano not leave you in any doubt as to his all out love for Jack. Yet something is missing between them ... or could this be and probably is - just me? Certainly don't let that deter you from viewing this touching love story that is as high on production values, as it is played with engaging zeal. For the bottom line is that this indie production is a beautifully told roller-coaster ride on gay love in the face of federal law. That David W Ross shows a lot of promise, along with his ever so muscular frame, kind of goes without saying.
Gay Visibility - overt.
Nudity - bare-arsed cheek.
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars.