Do You Take This Man (2016)
“Perfection does not exist. And if you keep chasing it, you’re just always going to be disappointed.”
Synopsis: Daniel and Christopher are about to get married. As their friends and family gather around them, they deal with the stresses of getting married while going through a small crisis.
Do You Take This Man is like a slice of life that happens to be the 24 hours before Daniel and Christopher get married. We see them wake up that morning and start to get ready for the big day. As the film opens up we start to get to know them a little better.
Daniel (Anthony Rapp) appears to deal with some anxiety issues and might even be a little self-sabotaging. In a conversation with his friend Jacob he talks about how he held out on giving a gift because he thought he might not make it work after he gave it – that he would “stop looking forward.”
Christopher (Jonathan Bennett) is like a balance for Daniel in that he is the more social, laid-back part of the couple. He’s younger but also seemingly more grounded.
As the day unfolds, mini crisis seem to keep occurring until finally there is one serious one. Before the big reveal is the rehearsal diner which is a very long scene. In it many of the characters talk about about some intimate details of events in their lives. It’s a little awkward at times, but it certainly gets a lot out in the open.
Once the biggest crisis comes to light, the biggest argument ensues. I have to admit it felt a little melodramatic in that it escalated so quickly. Turning into, “It’s like I don’t know you anymore,” might have been a bit much. But they were under stress, and it served to create the climax of the story which helped pull some of the themes out of the film.
Nothing is perfect, and expecting it to be can be stressful at least and self-sabotaging at worst. This message starts to come through from the beginning of the film. Relationships take work – they don’t just happen like they do in the movies. Even the best romances take time and energy to make them successful. To do that issues need to be faced head on. Burying them only leads to melodramatic and explosive arguments that escalate quickly.
I liked this film for the reason that some others didn’t. The crisis that unfold are realistic and very “day in the life.” No one dies, cheats on someone, or throws up on the bride’s dress. Some of the drama comes from Daniel’s anxiety, but that’s real too instead of coming off as being manufactured drama. And how Christopher reacts to it is part of the development of their relationship.
The film is full of accomplished and well-known actors. I knew Anthony Rapp from Star Trek: Discovery, but I also recognized the face of his sister Racheal (Alyson Hannigan of American Pie), their friend Bradley (Thomas Dekker from Heroes), and Daniel’s father (Sam Anderson who has been seen all over). I also found it interesting that when the movie was being filmed, they were filming the wedding scene on the same day that he Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage.
As a film that is a day in the life of Daniel and Christopher, Do You Take This Man is an interesting and fun look at one of their most important days. It quickly develops characters that you want to see happy, and grows the support system around them into multidimensional people that are a part of the couple’s happiness. And while nothing is ever perfect, even this film, you can see it for what it is and get something from it.
Availability: Amazon (Prime), most other streaming services