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DVD Review – I Do

3 min read

A modern story of how nationality, even in the West, can effect the relationships you uphold. I Do, David W.Ross’ screenwriting debut, is one of gay marriage inequality in the States and follows Jack Edwards (David W.Ross) an English man living and working in America supporting his young niece Tara (Jessica Tyler-Brown) and sister-in-law Mya (Alicia Witt) but is faced with deportation due to his lack of a Green Card.

IDoDespite meeting and receiving a proposal from an attractive new suitor in the form of Mano (Maurice Compte), Jack would still be unable to legally stay in the States as their relationship, even if they were to marry wouldn’t be considered ‘real’ (legal) by federal government. And so the only choice left for Jack is to return to England…or marry an American woman. He chooses the latter.

Marrying his lesbian best friend, Ali (Jamie-Lee Sigler) allows Jack to stay in the country with his family and Mano without the complications of having a proper wife. However when things seem too good to be true, they usually are and Jack’s seemingly ideal situation is just that.  Jack and Ali must prove themselves at various marriage interviews, Immigration officers come knocking on doors and both are interrogated regarding their ‘relationship’ and life together.

As if legal issues weren’t enough, Ali develops mixed emotions toward Jack it’s unclear whether she is questioning her attraction to him, is platonically possessive over him or just trying to cover herself (as an participant in Jack’s Green Card marriage, she too could be charged upon its discovery) but either way these conflicting emotions lead to heavy tension between the two friends.

Jack isn’t the only one having problems his boyfriend Mano, half American half Spanish receives bad news of his family in Spain and must set off for Europe. Although he invites, pleads even, with Jack to accompany him, but the latter, now a newbie American citizen neglects to go with Mano in favour of supporting Mya and Tara, towards whom he feels familial obligation.

Once again Jack’s life and position as a potential American citizen is thrown jeopardised as Ali files for a divorce.

Although it seems that this film is just one complication after another regarding Jack’s station within American society, its numerous problems serve to reflect just how many faults there are within the American system regarding tolerance towards gay marriage. If only Jack had been legally able to marry Mano initially, a lot of his problems could have been avoided. And likewise for many gay foreigners who fall in love with American citizens, this film brings to light their plight in the fight for equality.

Although this being David W.Ross’ first screenplay the narrative is strong and empathetic with relatable characters and circumstances, representing gay life in a non-eccentric, contemporary style. The acting standard of the entire cast is high, with Ross also taking on the role of his lead, Jack and impressive acting from child actor Jessica Taylor-Brown as Tara.

The only flaw in this piece of work would be that in spite of its eventful and unexpected opening it drags a little throughout the middle of the narrative. We’re aware that Jack and Ali’s relationship is degrading, that Mano must leave for Spain and that Jack is expected to ultimately make the biggest decision of his life, and yet everything is prolonged and drawn out, somewhat draining the impact from the powerful punch this film packs.

Despite this, the gentle yet sharp cinematography and poignant message of this film makes is a must watch for all those in support for equal marriage consideration and those who want to watch an accurate portrayal of a gay couple’s struggle with a system that they shouldn’t have to struggle with.

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