A documentary filmmaker shot over 100 weddings on the side to make stable income. Over time he thought about what happened to some of those couples. Some he couldn’t find, others didn’t want to talk about it, but he found several who were willing to partake in his latest documentary.
It’s a great example of how life will throw unexpected things at you. Children, career changes, health problems. I was glad that many of the couples had found struggle but stayed together like the couple whose daughter had cancer or the woman with depression.
The depressed couple made me so sad because I could really understand how she felt. She didn’t see the good moments or how her daughter loves her or their bond. She saw herself as a burden on both of them. She thinks she’s a bad mother, a bad partner, and a bad person. Where she’s at, her options are keep fighting or lay down and die. I hope that when I have a kid and if/when I get back to that place, I will not lay down and die. Not because I deserve better but because my family does.
I see so much of Boyfriend in her husband. You can see from his body language that he loves her and wants her back. He doesn’t want to go through this life with anyone else and is willing to do what he has to do to get her to a better place. I can only hope that when Boyfriend and I get married and if/when I get The Bell Jar dropped on my head, my marriage will look like that.
Life isn’t always pretty so this is a hard reality of marriage. Another couple who I was glad agreed to be interviewed was the divorced couple. She was so happy to marry him then and many years later, he was so happy to be rid of her now. I think a big part of their split was not just leading separate lives but his ego. He lost weight and had professional success and “was growing and growing” while his wife stayed the same.
Maybe she stayed the same because she was raising the kids. Maybe she was changing and he wasn’t as interested in her life anymore. Her revelation about his infidelity was so powerful. I can appreciate things changing but if you’re unhappy in your marriage or relationship and you say nothing, that’s a choice. If you become unfaithful to your partner, that’s a choice. Once you get beyond the age of youthful stupidity, I have no respect for infidelity. Rather than face the problem and deal with it, he chose to take the coward’s way out. I had a lot of respect for her and very little for him.
I absolutely adored the couple that had a commitment ceremony 13 years prior. They seemed like such fun and interesting people back then. Looking at their life now, middle age and a pair of kids, the legalities of marriage make complete sense. Jointly filing taxes, ICU and ER rights should something happen to their partner, POA should something happen to them mentally, transfer of assets in death. In a situation like that, it’s less about tradition and more about protecting your family. I love how they did a tiny living room wedding as well.
My favorite line from the movie was from the rabbi: “A wedding is a day and it’s easiest day to make happy. You’ve just thrown a ton of money at it. And liquor. I mean, come on. A wedding is easy to make happy. A marriage is hard to make happy because when you throw a ton of money and liquor at it, it often makes things worse.”
I like to think that because I’ve had hard life experiences and relationships and friendships go wrong, I’m more prepared for bad things to happen. I’m likely more prepared than someone who has had an easy life but you never know what life will throw at you. This film did a good job of showing you how unexpected life and love can be without depressing you. Definitely worth a watch.