After two decades of filming weddings Doug had long wondered what became of those couples.. Are they still together? Is married life what they thought it would be? How have they navigated ...
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After two decades of filming weddings Doug had long wondered what became of those couples.. Are they still together? Is married life what they thought it would be? How have they navigated the inevitable ups and downs of marriage over the long haul? Driven by deep curiosity to answer these questions, he begins to track down and interview his wedding couples, juxtaposing wedding day flashbacks with present-day reality as he explores themes of love and marital commitment and to ask them all the same question: After years of being married, what would be your advice be for a young couple soon to be married?Written by
Poignant Look at Contemporary Marriages in North America
Filmmaker Doug Block has spent his life making documentary films, with a sideline of making videos of people's weddings. In this retrospective film he looks back at some of the 112 weddings he has filmed, to see how the married couples have fared after their nuptials have taken place.
He interviews several couples, most of whom got married in the New York City region - one ceremony took place in Montana. They talk frankly about the stresses and strains of their relationships, and how they managed - or did not manage to stay together. It would be invidious to describe each marriage one by one, but what emerges most tangibly from the film is the willingness each couple have to describe the bad as well as the good aspects of their relationships. Block's camera seldom moves, but the interviewees eventually tell their innermost secrets, even though it is obviously painful to do so. One couple are particularly frank about their difficulties in dealing with their three-year-old daughter's experience of chemotherapy.
Some marriages are inevitably more successful than others. Perhaps the saddest experience is of one wife who discovered after nineteen years and three children that her husband was having an affair. The distress on her face is evident as she realizes she has been deceived, and that she has not been able to satisfy her spouse. As narrator, Block wonders why couples enter into marriage, given the fact that it is so difficult to sustain over a lifetime.
The film ends with a recent marriage of a couple, both of whom look forward to a life of bliss. Block understands this this will never happen, but realizes at the same time how marriage provides some kind of a bulwark against the vicissitudes of life; this is why couples still enter into it. 112 WEDDINGS leaves us feeling a little ambivalent about the sanctity of marriage, but still reminds us of its enduring popularity.
The only criticism that might be leveled at this film is that all the interviewees are white; the subject-matter might have been more suggestive if Block had included the experiences of couples from different cultures and/or ethnicities.
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