Sunday, September 1, 2013

Two little words: David W. Ross and Glenn Gaylord's G&L rom-dram, I DO, hits DVD

I DO, the new GLBT romantic drama that hits the street on DVD this Tuesday is an odd but not uninteresting duck. Its 90 minute running time ensures that, considering how plot-heavy and character driven it is, the movie flies by quickly. Yet that very plot, with all that's going on among the four separate groups whose lives inter-twine, demands much more time to bring all this to fully explored life.

So we have a perfectly OK little gay & lesbian romantic drama that hits its points squarely and well and slides along the surface of things with often consummate skill. The film's writer (David W. Ross) sees to it that the bases are covered in this tale of a Brit in New York City whose immigration/
green card status changes after 9/11, and what he must do to remain in the U.S., where family obligations are primary. Director Glenn Gaylord (shown at left) likewise gets good performances all around from his smart and generally well-chosen cast.

The reason that our hero, Jack (played by the film's writer, Mr. Ross, above), needs to stay in the U.S. involves his deceased brother, the brother's widow (a fine Alicia Witt, below, right) and their young daughter -- still unborn when that brother was killed in an accident but now 7 years old -- for whom Jack has been both uncle and dad.

The best solution seems to be for Jack to marry his best friend Ali (Jamie-Lynn Sigler, below, right), a lesbian with seemingly insoluble love problems of her own, who might as well do her friend this very big favor.

Once ensconced, Jack then meets the love of his life, Mano (Maurice Compte, below, right) while Ali begins developing something more than friendly feelings for Jack. Meanwhile Mano, a Spaniard, has problems of his own taking place back in Spain.

Toss in an aging photographer friend, Sam (Mickey Cotrell) with a novel solution to Jack's immigration problems, plus the cute kid, Craig (Mike C. Manning), to whom Jack turns from time to time for easy sex and who, himself, has a mad crush on our somewhat thoughtless and narcissistic "hero," and you have a whirligig of situations, each one of which might make a movie all its own.

Cram all this into 90 minutes and little wonder I Do seems a tad shallow. Ms Siegler's and Mr. Manning's characters in particular are clearly under-served, while we must take on faith that Mano is Jack's "dream man" for we, as does Jack, know damn little about him. Yet the film does deal with some important topics -- marriage equality and immigration equality among them -- which makes it timely.

Perhaps Mr. Ross might have considered either bringing in someone else to work on the script to provide a more distanced and objec-tive eye, or hiring someone else to portray the lead character. Not that Ross is unattractive or a bad actor. He's fine and he's got quite a body (which he's more than happy to show off). Yet the movie smacks not a little of narcissism and vanity. I couldn't even find a single publicity still from the film in which Ross does not appear.

I Do, from Breaking Glass Pictures, comes available on DVD this Tuesday, September 3, for sale and/or rental from the usual suspects. You can also see it via iTunes, Amazon Video, PlayStation network, and soon on Google play, YouTube, Viewster and CinemaNow. Worldwide streaming will be eventually in the cards, too, via Distrify.

The photos above are either from the film itself or,
in the case of Mr. Gaylord's, taken by Alberto E. Rodriguez

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