I wasn't with my partner, Jerry, when he passed away in 1999, for some of the same reasons Shane wasn't at Tom's funeral in this film. I could have been at his bedside and at his funeral, but it would have brought dishonor upon the passing of the person I loved most in this world, and tarnishing his memory, by far, was the worst outcome.
The message of this film is love. Aren't we all better people when we remember that message?
It's easy to look back on life and say: I wish I'd done this or that differently. For example, the over-long solo disco sequence at one of my 7th or 8th grade dances that I so very much hope nobody remembers. I'd love to erase that horror from memory - especially mine.
But while I know the decision I made was right - Jerry didn't deserve the conflict that would have arisen from my presence when he died (though I spent every other minute of his life with him caring for him while he was dying) - if I could go back and change one thing in all of my life, I would be at his side.
Not a lunch with Lincoln or Tolkien, or a chat with Buddha or Jesus. I would be at Jerry's side when he died.
For that I would pay the ransom of Eden found.
So, this was supposed to be a small movie review. I should review it. Here we go: 5/5 stars. This documentary was beautifully told. :-)
More importantly, again: love is everything. Love is the greatest of all that is good. And you're not less of a man or a person for knowing and showing that. We should spend less time getting in the way of love, and more time experiencing what it's like to love and be loved.
It's a one sided tale weeping of (understandable) bitterness, but it just looks like the extended memorial tape he was going to play at the funeral he never planned.
Seems terrible to say, but the first hour is all about their wonderful relationship and it's vom central. "Look how great we were. We traveled the world. Everyone thought we were amazing. No-one has ever been so in love." It's trying to play up the tragedy and this just seems to be a case of shit happens. It's awful, but shit happens.
I do not recommend. Didn't even make me cry, I was so annoyed with the smugness.
The documentary is about Shane and Tom, a gay couple being together for 6 years until Tom died of falling from a rooftop accidentally in 2011 (aged 29), the interviewers (Shane, his families and their friends) chart the story of their lives from Shane's childhood, his bullied school days and his struggling self-identification of being a gay man while Tom attended a first-rate high school albeit his blue-collar family background, and turned out to be an all-american boy, handsome, macho, outgoing, a role model excels both in sports and academy. After fate let them meet in L.A., their relationship epitomizes the most desiring lover-cum-soulmate perfection one could ever dream of, which causes the ensuing tragedy far more harrowing to bear.
A familiar juncture for almost every gay person, the coming-out process, particularly to Tom's parochial family, it was an incubus, which sheerly contrasts with the understandable reaction from Shane's family, however, it is all evinced secondhand by Shane and their friends, since Tom's family adopted the silent treatment to the invitation of the production team to be part of the film, surely we will never know the story from the other side, which is a minor glitch in this otherwise viscerally affecting picture.
Nevertheless, a more contingent fact is how the young soul's passing provoked much more indignation when Tom's family flagrantly shut down Shane out of the funeral and expunged their entire life together as if it never happened, it is an atrocious transgression towards our very basic canon as human beings, it is love unites us, differentiates us and sublimates us from other creatures on earth, and propels our society to move on to a better world, so even though BRIDEGROOM (which is Tom's family name, what a pertinent one!) is hardly a ground-breaking piece of art work (SMS interaction, video footages, travel photography is all it has to render the narrative aside common interviews with apt editing), it is a film should not be missed and I do hope the cost of a young life can be at least in some level compensated by awakening more conservative minds to evaluate the world with a more humane mind and encouraging more individuals to embrace their true color. Also, best wishes to Shane, you are lucky enough to experience true love and don't lose hope, live long and prosper!