Film Review: “I Want To Get Married”

[Reviewed by Bruce Roberts]

Take a gay character, with an unwitting penchant for slapstick comedy, and put him under pressure to be married before the controversial vote on gay marriage through Proposition 8 in California, and you have the recipe for a funny and thought-provoking film: I Want To Get Married.

Paul Roll (Mathew Montgomery) is a gay advertising specialist, and very good at what he does. He is, however, single, and with the Prop. 8 vote looming, feels he’d better hurry and marry. Yet he has no serious love interest and thus, at the urging of his best friend (Ashleigh Summer), embarks on a hunt for the love of his life.

Unfortunately, as competent as he is at his job, he’s basically incompetent at dating.   It’s as if Adrian Monk and Inspector Clousseau had a son.  He misreads situations, gets crushes when he shouldn’t, and can’t stand the messiness of the whole dating/sex scene.

Comedy continues into the subplots. His mom (Lisa Franks) leaves his dad (Patrick M.J. Finerty) and while traveling to see Paul, gets stuck in a run-down desert motel/casino, where she links up with a cross-dresser and great singer (Mathew Martin).    Dad, meantime, tries to find her, gets mugged and stripped, and just misses her as he staggers—sans pants– into the casino.

In the meantime, Paul, needing money, lets himself be hired by Deborah Anderson (Mark Chambers) of The Family, a well-paying homophobic organization, to create ads for Prop.8, with a resulting ethical dilemma made worse by the discovery that his mom has donated big money to this group. The plot swirls from plot to subplot to subplot, yet they all spin together to a satisfying end.

First shown at the Cinema Diverse Film Festival in Palm Springs in 2011, this film was written, directed, and edited by Billy Clift, produced by Terry Malloy.  Interested viewers can find it on DVD through Amazon.com.

For a look at Prop 8’s impact on people’s lives that is serious, though presented in a comic fashion, see I Want To Get Married, an entertaining and interesting independent film.

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You may contact the reviewer, Bruce Roberts, at brobe60491@sbcglobal.net.

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