I Do: Film Review

Uneven comedy/drama tackles hot button issues like gay marriage and immigration.

A gay Brit expatriate enters into a sham marriage to stay in the country in Glenn Gaylord's comedy/drama.

Hot button issues such as gay marriage and illegal immigration are the focus of I Do, Glenn Gaylord’s comedy/drama about an expatriate Brit entering into a sham marriage to stay in the U.S. even while falling in love with another man. Although highly uneven in execution, the film’s sympathetic characters and moving elements should help it strike a chord with gay audiences, especially in home video formats.

The film’s screenwriter David W. Ross also plays the central role of Jack, a handsome photographer who is happily ensconced in his New York lifestyle. His life takes a more serious turn when his brother Peter (Grant Bowler) is suddenly killed in an accident, leaving him to care for the emotional needs of Peter’s pregnant fiancé Mya (Alicia Witt) and her precocious young daughter Tara (Jessica Brown).

Adding to his problems is the fact that U.S. immigration authorities are on his back, requiring him to move back to the U.K. and apply for residency all over again. The other possibility, his lawyer quietly suggests, is for him to marry a U.S. citizen. So he turns to his lesbian friend and co-worker Alison (Jamie-Lynn Sigler), who after some hemming and hawing reluctantly agrees.

So far, so good, at least until Jack falls in love with sensitive Spaniard and U.S. citizen Manu (Maurice Comte), leading him to act so carelessly towards his fake marriage that the authorities’ suspicions are aroused.

That Jack would be allowed to stay in the country for marrying a woman but not another man is the film’s principal issue, dealt with in a not-so-subtle manner. But the sometimes forced if well-intentioned social proselytizing is alleviated by the well-drawn relationships among the central characters, especially Jack’s role as kindly “gay uncle” to Mya’s little girl.

Ross is appealing in the lead role, even if he seems too eager to show off his buff physique by appearing in numerous scenes wearing a minimum of clothing. The remaining performances range in quality—Sigler never seems to quite get a handle on her character, although the problem stems as much from the screenplay—with particularly strong efforts from Witt and, in a solid supporting turn, Mickey Cottrell as Jack’s elderly friend and mentor.

Production: School Pictures.

Cast: David W. Ross, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Alicia Witt, Maurice Compte, Mickey Cottrell, Jessica Brown, Patricia Belcher, Grant Bowler.

Director: Glenn Gaylord.

Producers: Stephen Israel, David W. Ross.

Screenwriter: David W. Ross.

Director of photography: David Maurice Gil.

Editor: James Cude.

Composers: Jordan Balagot, Gabriel Mounsey.

Production designer: Michael Fitzgerald.

Costume designer: Sarah Register.

Not rated, 91 min.