Love and Marriage: Movie Weddings Will Never Be the Same after These Gay Directors Crash the Party

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KISS THE BRIDE

DIRECTED BY C. Jay Cox

STARRING Tori Spelling, James O'Shea, and Philipp Karner

REGENT RELEASING

MARRIED LIFE

DIRECTED BY Ira Sachs

STARRING Chris Cooper, Patricia Clarkson, Rachel McAdams, and Pierce Brosnan

SONY PICTURES CLASSICS

AT A TIME WHEN MANY AMERICANS seem to be reconciling themselves to the idea of gay marriage, there's still one small group that needs some convincing--and it's made up of other gay people. Why, they argue, should we embrace an institution that straight people have made such a shambles off It's a line of thinking that conveniently sidesteps ideas like equal rights and choice, but it points to an irony that can't be ignored: Gay people are fighting for the right to get married at a time when straight people are divorcing in droves.

It's into that charged cultural moment that Kiss the Bride throws its bouquet. The film's hero, Matt (Philipp Karner), is busy putting together a gay marriage issue for the magazine he works for, but there's no chance he'll be saying his own vows anytime soon. Matt is still too hung up on the one that got away: Ryan (James O'Shea), the best friend from high school with whom he had a secret affair. When Matt learns that Ryan is getting married--to a woman (Tori Spelling), no less--he makes a beeline for his hometown, determined to put a stop to what he's sure will be a sham wedding. What he finds when he gets there, however, is that Ryan and his bride truly seem to be in love. Will Matt divulge Ryan's sordid past and put a stop to the wedding? A pressing question, to be sure, but here's one to trump it: Can you believe a camp icon like Tori Spelling playing a character with no gaydar?

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Spelling is fine (if underused), and Ty Lieberman's snappy script clearly aspires to door-slamming farce, but in his follow-up to Latter Days, director C. Jay Cox shoots things so indifferently that all the air gets let out of the balloon. A comedy like this needs a quick pace and a tight editing style, but Bride dithers too long on slow-paced scenes about the families of the bride and groom. …