Sometimes it can take a personal film to bring more light on a subject often thought of in just political terms. Right now the Supreme Court is deciding on the Defense of Marriage Act, and their decision could make way for Gay couples to marry. But making marriage legal across our land for everyone has more implications that just simply making marriage legal for same-sex couples. This is the stirring subject brought to life with complicated and meaningful circumstances in the new film "I Do."
In "I Do," Jack (David W. Ross) is an openly gay man living a wonderful life in New York. Originally from England, he and his older brother Peter (Grant Bowler) have made New York their home. Their small family is to about to become larger as Peter's wife Mya is pregnant. As the family leaves a celebration dinner, an accident with stirring complications occurs. Peter is killed in what could be conceived as an accident caused by Jack.
As the years progress, Peter's absence is incredibly noticed. Mya and Jack do their best to help raise Peter's daughter Tara (Jessica Tyler Brown). But when Jack's is notified that his request for a renewal for his visa is denied, he is left with little options. Leaving Mya and Tara is the last thing Jack wants to do and England is but a distant memory with no relatives or friends there waiting for him. It is suggested to Jack that he marry in order to be able to stay in America.
Feeling he has no choice, Jack marries his best friend, Ali (Jamie-Lynn Sigler). Ali works with Jack and is also gay. She has just broken-up from her last lover and without really thinking of the long-term ramifications, the couple marry. Just as the two are getting use to wearing wedding bands, Jack meets the love of his life, Mano (Maurice Compte). When Jack and Mano get together, Ali seems to get lost in the mix and the new found happiness that Jack is having will not last long. Immigration starts asking questions, Ali has doubts about her decision and Mya has pent-up feelings about Jack. How will it all end? Can Jack's next decision make everyone happy or are there just no easy answers?
I really liked "I Do." It brings a powerful and hotly debated-subject into a real, tell-able story of a close knit community of friends and family. Jack's plight become's everyone's problem as his life affects those around him. The idea that he is gay becomes background noise as we see his own personal turmoil of being there for his family, creating his own personal life and finding his place in the world. As Jack grasps to do the right thing for everyone, things just seem to get worst.
The tightly-written script, by the film's lead actor David W. Ross, is powerful in is simplicity of telling a good story. It is a foundation for this excellent film. Also exemplary is the direction by Glenn Gaylord. There is no trick photography or techniques that get in the way of the story. The story moves fluidly from once scene to another.
All the actors are superb. David W. Ross plays Jack sympathetically without getting melodramatic. He comes to life on the screen and become a complete person that the audience feels compelled to like and root for his well-being. Jamie-Lynn Sigler is perfect for the role as Ali, although I would have liked to have seen more of her.
I really liked the work of Alicia Witt. She is an actress to watch. Her portrayal of Mya is heartbreaking as her grief is relatable. She does a fine job of making Mya a bit hard due to her circumstances, but at the same time not becoming a villain or too one-dimensional. Maurice Compte has the easiest of the parts, playing the latin lover Mano. This is another actor that I am going to watch for. I really enjoyed his choices.
All in all, I love a film that tells a personal story in way that I learn from it. And "I Do" is a story of the human condition, of the complexities of life and how a choice that might appear simple can be much more than that. So, if anyone asks if I recommend this movie, the answer is simple: I Do!