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Tying the Knot (2004)



Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.



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Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 605

My Rating

Movie Info

The surviving partners of two separate homosexual marriages in which their spouse died must deal with both the emotional, logistic, and legal turmoil that comes along with both the law and society at large failing to recognize the validity of their unions.

May 31, 2005

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All Critics (42) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (30) | Rotten (4) | DVD (3)

A quietly effective exploration of the divisive subject of gay marriage in America.

October 22, 2004 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Personalizes the political with two heart-rending real-life cases.

October 14, 2004 Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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It may not be the most meticulously crafted documentary in the world, but what Tying the Knot lacks in finesse it compensates for in making a heartfelt case for the hot-button topic of same-sex marriage.

October 7, 2004
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Has the good sense to take a large step back from the emotional debate surrounding the issue and scrutinize the history of marriage itself.

October 6, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The subject is worth exploring -- unfortunately, de Seve does so in a cut-and-dried manner that never explains why these two couples were able to stay together for so long.

October 1, 2004
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Documentarian Jim de Seve's cogent pro-gay-marriage argument appeals equally to emotion and reason.

October 1, 2004 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Tying the Knot is a flawed work that succeeds on the merits of its highly touching personal stories and its irrefutable debate.

August 20, 2005 Full Review Source:

Offers a refreshingly strong and lucid examination of the issue, even if it's edited a bit chaotically, cross-cutting between its various strands.

April 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

An empowering, optimistic experience, humanizing the issue through poignant profiles.

November 12, 2004 Full Review Source: Oregonian

Not only offers useful information but contains moments of gravity and pathos that genuinely touch the heart.

October 25, 2004 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

Regardless which side of the argument you are on, Tying the Knot is worth seeing for its political relevance and the human stories of those caught in the middle.

October 19, 2004 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

It does a decent job of taking a broad issue and showing the impact it has on individuals.

October 15, 2004 Full Review Source:

Probably the least controversial "controversial" documentary ever made.

October 11, 2004 Full Review Source:

De Seve brings together the stories, documenting them and not drilling rhetorically.

October 8, 2004 Full Review Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
San Diego Union-Tribune

Its issue is the debate over gay marriage, and director Jim de Seve does an outstanding job of humanizing the issue.

October 6, 2004 Full Review Source: Boston Herald
Boston Herald

The film attains its greatest impact in the most specific cases.

October 6, 2004 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Activist filmmaking... but neither strident nor plaintive.

October 5, 2004 Full Review Source: Entertainment Today
Entertainment Today

Like most hot-button documentaries, its impact is debatable, but filmmaker Jim de Seve makes an effective, an often moving case, for tolerance.

October 1, 2004 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles Daily News

It gives a short, sharp overview of exactly what's at stake.

October 1, 2004 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for Tying the Knot

Not one for crying during films, I confess that a tear welled in my eye on more than one occasion while watching this documentary on the societal constructs of wedlock, and the discrimination against same-sex marriage. Because of the stance the film takes, many people will be turned off to the subject matter. As a documentary, it stood on its feet firmly. Besides showing footage of rallies, the political windbags' testimony before Congress, and using case studies to outline the loss of constitutional rights by widowed partners, there is also a brief overview of the history of the definition of marriage, and several interviews with activists, politicians, clerks, and gay couples. The opposite side of the debate wasn't given much time except for sound bites that weren't taken out of context, but sure made for an interesting argument. In all, half the film made me overwhelmed with sentimentality and the other held contempt and disgust prevalent in my mind. Not pure entertainment, but a message of hope and civil liberties, your enjoyment will be based on frame of mind.
June 10, 2011

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