Saving Marriage

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 17


Audience Score

User Ratings: 244
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Movie Info

The excitement and suspense surrounding the battle for same-sex marriage serves as the focal point of this documentary from filmmakers Mike Roth and John Henning. November 18, 2003: the day that the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the same right to marriage as heterosexual couples. But while some assumed that this was the end of the battle, it quickly became apparent that it was only the beginning. Almost immediately after the ruling passed, it came under attack by right-wing conservatives. In this film, Roth and Henning offer a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of this epic battle for equality. From the lawyers to the lobbyists to the gay couples who jumped at the opportunity to marry even as state legislators struggled over the constitutional amendment, this film speaks with men and women on each side of the issue while scrutinizing each individual skirmish and detailing Massachusetts' muddled methods of amending its constitution in no uncertain terms.


Critic Reviews for Saving Marriage

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (9)

  • Saving Marriage makes the deeply personal, powerfully political tussle a thriller with a number of intriguing characters and subplots.

    Nov 7, 2008 | Rating: 3/4
  • Equally effective as a human interest story and political thriller.

    Oct 30, 2008
  • Saving Marriage is an in-the-trenches, defiantly partisan and exuberantly big-hearted movie.

    Oct 24, 2008 | Rating: 3/5
  • A solid, engrossing mix of reportage and human-interest stories.

    Oct 24, 2008

    Dennis Harvey

    Top Critic
  • We've all heard the story before, but moving discussions with folks like gay-rights lobbyist Arline Isaacson and lively footage of protests and Senate-floor testimonies make this film one wild personal-is-political ride.

    Oct 22, 2008 | Rating: 4/6 | Full Review…
  • Even for those who think they know the full story of Massachusetts' historic same-sex marriage law, this documentary will be a revelation.

    Oct 18, 2008 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Saving Marriage

  • Jan 12, 2011
    I'm torn: I want to extol the virtues of Saving Marriage on purely my personal beliefs, but I can't give it an unqualified recommendation as a movie. Why? There's it as the story of Massachusetts allowing gay marriage is told. Small technical issues like the lack of date stamps and the way the narrative seemingly skips from the marriage fight to an election fight had me scratching my head more than once. However, this is a compelling story obviously centered on the pro-gay side of the debate. It certainly plays on emotions, which most documentaries do, but never manages to have the two sides sit down to just talk without the rhetoric. That is squarely because of the real time nature of the film. And when a key legislator changes his vote at the last minute, it almost comes out of nowhere for the same reason. Still, this is a prime example of how ordinary people changed the course of a state after losing a battle, but not the war.
    Jason V Super Reviewer

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