6.3/10
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Always a Bridesmaid (2000)

One of the most personal documentaries out there. Nina Davenport's journey through her life as a wedding videographer who is unable to receive a marriage commitment from her boyfriend. As ... See full summary »

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Always a Bridesmaid (TV Series 2010)
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Set in the Marry Well Boutique, a one-stop shop for discount weddings. Every week hapless wedding planner Mariel and her eclectic staff do their best to cope with the demands of some pretty quirky clients.

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Nina Davenport ...
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Charles Kurzon ...
Himself - Nick's father
Isabel 'Ibby' Ellis Kurzon ...
Herself - Nick's mother
Nick Kurzon ...
Himself - Nina's boyfriend
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One of the most personal documentaries out there. Nina Davenport's journey through her life as a wedding videographer who is unable to receive a marriage commitment from her boyfriend. As she attempts to make since of her life, Davenport interviews elderly women who never married and her own mother, who was quite the prize in her day. What escapes onto film is a courageous young woman who leaves her heart out for the taking. Written by Chris Bogner

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April 2000 (USA)  »

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Ikuinen morsiusneito  »

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Ultra-personal work of heart and soul
20 January 2005 | by (Nixa, Missouri) – See all my reviews

Society has placed conditions on people that stress a certain way of living. It often feels like one is lost or unable to associate to society unless they adhere to these guidelines. For women, the idea of being a "spinster" can cause a great deal of anxiety.

For everyone who has felt the "clock" ticking and the notion of marriage seems impossible, this is your story. 'Always a Bridesmaid' is a documentary about one young woman's struggle to force (yes, force) her younger boyfriend to not only marry, but want to get married. Though it is impossible to force someone to want what they do not, it is impossible not to feel her immediacy.

Her name is Nina Davenport. She and her boyfriend Nick are both filmmakers. They are both very much in love with one another. She yearns to marry and he is fearful of the idea. There is some ambiguity as to whether she wants to marry him or just get married altogether to anyone. This desperateness is probably felt on at least some level by Nick and is likely another cause for his worry.

In life, it is uncomfortable to be caught in the middle of a situation such as this. In film, this can often fall into whiny melodrama. Nina's desperation can sometimes border on the annoying, but it is so easy to identify with her plight. There is a voyeuristic quality in being placed where the audience has, but most important is the idea that we can see both points of view.

Even more interesting, Nina goes on a sort of film-making therapy. She visits her parents and we learn about her mother's wild days as a much sought after bachelorette. As the scary idea of spinsterhood creeps into Nina's mind, she visits older women who never married. Receiving life's views from these wise women is the greatest gift of this doc.

What they have to say is enlightening, humorous, and at its best it is true. The truth behind their words is refreshing and honest. How their stories help and don't help Nina is fascinating. How she can relate what they say about Nick is unclear. For all of their help, every person is different as well as every relationship.

The ultimate irony is that Nina is, of all things, a wedding videographer. The pressures of spinsterhood meet her at work as well. The audience knows she is young and beautiful and need not worry. But that fact is not what the film is about. The feeling of loneliness and desperation that is unchanged by others' reassurance is an unyielding foe.

I saw 64 films in 2001 (the year 'Always a Bridesmaid' made its extremely limited theatrical run). I listed Nina Davenport's ultra-personal work of heart and soul as number 1. Nothing released that year is as personal or well made as this masterwork. The final scene in the film was not lost on me. The metaphor of the moment is one of the more powerful I have seen if not tranquil and unmoving in its own deceptive way. **** out of ****


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