'Do You Take This Man' DVD: Character Study of Gay Men on Eve of Wedding MUST SEE for All Engaged Couples
he Breaking Glass Pictures July 18, 2017 DVD release of the 2016 drama "Do You Take This Man" is the latest example of Breaking both showing that the experience of gay men is the same as straight folks and that boys who like other boys catching up in that regard is a modern phenomenon. The only bone of contention is that personal experience is contrary to the depiction in this film (and the ABC sitcom "Modern Family") that the redhead in a gay relationship with a dark-haired guy is the more uptight and sensitive one.
"Man" is the second Breaking film for former "Rent" and current "Star Trek: Discovery" star Anthony Rapp. The Unreal TV reviewed "Bwoy" has Rapp playing a tortured middle-aged man in an online relationship with a guy 20 years his junior. The strong live-stage vibe of both films make good use of the talents of Broadway star Rapp.
This time, Rapp plays happily engaged 40 year-old Daniel, whom the audience meets on the morning before the day that he and live-in fiance Christopher (Jonathon Bemnett) are scheduled to go to the chapel and get married. Most couples can relate to Daniel getting up before Christopher and being less exuberant than this 33 year-old at the final stages of his puppyhood.
As an aside, one must wonder if "Man" writer/director Joshua Tunick is a fan of '90s teen heartthrob Christopher Daniel Barnes.
The drama begins with Daniel citing a need to prepare the rehearsal dinner for 10 as the excuse not joining Christopher and his friends for brunch. This relatable moment becomes even more so when Christopher and company return to find Daniel who claims to be too busy to come out and play chatting with HIS friend Jacob. "Facts of Life" veteran/John Astin offspring Mackenzie Astin puts the same boyish charm of the "Cousin Oliver" role of Andy on "Facts" to his portrayal of Jacob.
The tension increases when Daniel springs surprise guest childhood friend Emma, whom Daniel repeatedly identifies as the Joey to his Dawson, on Christopher as a surprise guest at the upcoming meticulous planned rehearsal dinner. The aforementioned brunch buddies bitchy gay BFF (Thomas Dekker of the Fox "Terminator" television series) and party girl fag hag Summer quickly jumping through hoops to avoid Daniel throwing a hissy fit completes the picture.
The mere arrival of Emma is only the tip of the iceberg regarding that character; the parents of Daniel arriving five hours early provides more comic than relief; having Allyson Hannigan of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "How I Met Your Mother" play the divorced sister of Daniel provides context for the element of whether opposites make a better couple than people who seem made for each other. The last plotline additionally creates a sad sense that neither Willow nor Lily are happy.
Tunick injects more real life in this reel tale regarding his treatment of the extent to which parents support their gay children. As often is typical in gay couples, Christopher has minimal contact with his parents and Daniel constantly sees his. Christopher hits particularly close to home for many gay men in stating that his parents attending his nuptials only would make Mom and Dad and every other attendee uncomfortable.
The perspective of the parents of Daniel provide great context for parents all along the relevant Kinsey Scale of acceptance. Their overall compassion further makes them the type of in-laws that gay and straight couples alike would love as in-laws.
Another perspective is that your not-so-humble reviewer dubbed the highly critical mother of an ex Endora and delighted in pretending to be under a spell after each criticism; Endora commenting that yours truly having a cleaning lady was wasteful prompted several gleeful hours of frantic cleaning.
The reality continues with Christopher withholding devastating news regarding the wedding ceremony; his perfect logic is that Daniel knowing something that cannot be solved at the time does not help anyone. Predictably, the big revelation causes recriminations and near tears. It further prompts the type of conversation that most couples should have but leave in its original container. On a scarily related note, your not-so-humble reviewer can relate to the "I was right" aspect of this development but would have had a back-up in anticipation of the "what if" occurring.
Traditional romcom elements dominate regarding a last-minute scramble by those nearest and dearest to Christopher and Daniel can put right what once went wrong so that the boys can have a shot at happily ever after.
The big wedding picture this time is that the relative newness of marriage equality (which Daniel correctly states differs from gay marriage) being both legal and widely accepted creates valid feelings of at least one person in a gay relationship wanting a grand declaration of love. The below analysis of any wedding rains on that particular parade.
On a large level, a wedding often involves bringing together relatives with inter-connected decades of conflict. (First wives insulting second wives is particularly entertaining.) Focusing in, "Man" depicts the challenges related to a "mixed" couple getting married.
A couple in which both people are uptight can result in the quest for perfection that Daniel outwardly seeks driving everyone crazy and the couple being disappointed when their ceremony falls far short of the Diana and Charles extravaganza. A couple that consists of either two slacker or "Chillax" dudes may end up exchanging vows on a municipal little league field and inviting guests home for take-out pizza and six packs.
The best solution seems to be hiring a trusted wedding planner to make every decision and be the sole point of contact for service providers, not worrying about excluding relatives who either are so angry at you or other relatives that they do not want to come, and merely showing up for the ceremony to be dazzled.
Tremendous personal turmoil that extends well beyond a neighbor wanting a pool resulting in flooding the comprehensive sitcom section of the Unreal TV DVD library prevented checking out the DVD extras. Large faith based on roughly 50 Breaking features inspires confidence regarding the cast interviews. deleted scenes, and "making-of" documentary. These provide something to which to look forward to when pulling "Man" off the shelf if and when your not-so-humble reviewer declares his love in front of his human and canine friends; nothing says that members of the wedding party cannot have four legs.