The day before they get married, Daniel (Anthony Rapp) and Christopher (Jonathan Bennett) hold a dinner for their family and friends to celebrate their upcoming nuptials. Earlier in the day Christopher’s friends Summer (Hutchi Hancock) and Bradley (Thomas Dekker) surprise him when they reveal that they’ve brought his former childhood best friend Emma (Alona Tal) to Los Angeles for the occasion. Emma’s arrival stirs up events in Christopher’s past and makes Daniel start to question how well he actually knows his soon-to-be husband considering Emma has never been mentioned.
Do You Take This Man is the feature film debut of writer/director Joshua Tunick and it features a rather starry cast led by Rapp and Bennett. The film takes what has previously been a staple trope of typical romantic comedies made for straight audiences and crafted a compelling character piece for an LGBT audience. It’s so refreshing to see a drama made for the LGBT audience that depicts realistic characters, meaningful relationships and gay character that aren’t just interested in hook-ups with severe commitment issues.
At the heart of the story are Daniel and Christopher, who hit it off from their very first meeting despite being very different people. There’s an age gap of 10 years, which crops up as a recurring issue for their friends but doesn’t actually affect their relationship in the slightest. The biggest challenge the two men face is communicating with one another; Daniel has the desire to know every single thing about Christopher’s life but Christopher has a much more selective approach to what they share with one another.
That’s the root of the conflict that permeates throughout the film. Daniel’s family arrive to support him, including his sister Rachael (Alyson Hannigan) whereas Christopher’s family are notably absent. The arrival of Emma, a friend Daniel didn’t even know existed, makes him anxious with his mind going into overdrive about what else he doesn’t know about his fiancé. Naturally things build to a climax but the way the third act plays out is incredibly emotional and very sweet. I shed more than a few tears in the last half an hour I’m not ashamed to say.
The leading performances of Anthony Rapp and Jonathan Bennett are exceptional. They are believable as a couple, their chemistry is evident from the opening scene and they interact with one another like they know each other inside out. For those reasons, that’s why the film packs such an emotional punch because you genuinely care for these two wonderfully written characters. Also superb is Alyson Hannigan who reveals her own secrets during the evening’s dinner party and gives one of the best dramatic performances I’ve seen from her.
Do You Take This Man is so grounded in realism that it hits home with anyone who has had jitters the night before their wedding. Several times it brought back memories of my own journey to marriage and I could relate to it on many levels. The excellent support cast does a tremendous job with Alona Tal really shining. I’ve seen some middling reviews of Do You Take This Man but as a gay man myself who is able to relate to so much of what this film has to say, I can heartily say it’s one of the best LGBT films I’ve seen in a very, very long time and I’ll be keeping me eye on Joshua Tunick’s next move.
Cast: Anthony Rapp, Jonathan Bennett, Alyson Hannigan, Thomas Dekker, Mackenzie Astin, Alona Tal, Sam Anderson, Lee Garlington, Hutchi Hancock, Marla Sokoloff Director: Joshua Tunick Writer: Joshua Tunick Certificate: Unrated Duration: 92 mins Released By: Breaking Glass Pictures Release Date: 7th July (Theatrical) 11th July (DVD/VOD)