Ladymol's Review

This film has such a great premise: two guys having a commitment ceremony, inviting their relatives all of whom have secrets and problems. Unfortunately it just didnít work for me. The focus of the drama was quite scattered and with so many couples and so many problems I found it hard to empathise with any of them really. The gay couple, Grant and Ryan didnít convince me either. There was very little body language, despite one or two forced scenes where they seemed unable to keep their hands off each other. The next moment, however, they were cool and distant.

The day is disrupted when Ryanís mother arrives with a homeless man in tow. Heís very disturbing in a creepy way, and his role seemed to me to be utterly forced. If heíd been good looking (or ever over four feet tall) I might have believed in the devastating role he plays during the occasion, but he, most of all the characters, didnít work for me.

The acting was very up and down, some characters good, some woeful. Ironically the one playing a celebrity soap star was about the worst.

Iím not sure what we were supposed to take away from the ending. I like films with happy endings; Iíll accept a tragic film if itís authentic. A confused ďhuh?Ē ending just annoys me.

To be honest, really not worth even renting.

Cerisaye's Review

Ryan & Grant have been together 3 years and are now getting married in their back yard in Vancouver.† Well Ryan says itís not a wedding, those are for straight people, and heís annoyed that Grant has bought a tuxedo and wants the whole shooting match.† Theyíve each invited their families to the ceremony, and now itís time for last minute nerves and second thoughts.

Itís billed as a comedy, and there are many genuinely funny moments, but the tears I shed werenít laughter, too many references to dead babies for a start.† For the relations who turn up for the wedding have all got real emotional baggage just waiting to spill out, especially once the drink starts to flow and that tension in the air affects everyone in the party.

This is an ensemble piece, about people and their problems, love and relationships and what makes a good partnership.† Itís not about gay or straight, and though the focus appears to be a gay marriage itís not exactly political either.† Though I suppose itís there in the background that gay couples like Ryan & Grant have the right to marry in Canada when in many places they canít, not yet.† Dialogue plays on the problem of what to call a legal ceremony between two men if itís not a wedding.† One of the filmís most intense scenes has a distraught Grant wailing that the Christians are right, they are deviants who have anal sex and shouldnít even be thinking about getting married.† Besides, he canít stop thinking about sex with other people.† Ryan takes all this with characteristic calm (he meditates naked in the garden) and reminds his lover thatís what it means to be a man no matter gay or straight (Hmmn. Not sure I buy that insouciance).

We follow each of the couples and their separate stories of marital breakdown, abortion, bulimia, failed conception, unwanted pregnancy, and death of a child.† Comic relief from real emotional angst is provided by Ryanís mother and the toy-boy street kid she picked up on the way to the wedding, a Puckish character named Dylan.† He interacts with everyone, for better or worse, and his carefree attitude has an effect that possibly changes the direction of peopleís lives.

Things come to a head and suddenly it looks like the wedding is in doubt.† But it takes more than celebratory rites to make a committed partnership regardless of sexual orientation.† And thatís the real message behind this film.

Itís far from perfect.† Some actors are better than others, subplots threaten to overwhelm the story, and many of the characters are plain annoying- one of Ryanís brothers even says that heís not really gay!- and the misery gets a bit much.

What the film tries to do is show that gay and straight couples arenít so different.† Everyone says the thing that makes the difference and binds heteros is their ability to have children and make a family.† Well, itís clear from the story that itís not quite that simple and procreation instead of gluing couples together sometimes causes them to break up.† Just as the temptation to casual sex is as strong to straight people as gay men.

It probably wonít please everyone but if youíre in the right mood for reflection then itís worth a look.† If only to prove that weddings arenít necessarily icing on the cake for gay couples any more than straight ones.† Ryan & Grant shouldíve eloped.