If you like foreign films, you are in for a treat. Two of my recent favorites that examine the concept of marriage were made in two different countries: Spain and France. Time for a European tour from the comfort of your own chair…
The first film, “Queens,” is a delightful comedy set in 2005 Spain on the eve of the country’s legalization of same-sex marriage. This wonderful romp follows not only three good-looking couples as they prepare to tie the knot, but their fabulous mothers as they deal with their son’s impending nuptials (not always gracefully) and the impact the weddings will have in their own lives. I was constantly impressed with the tenor and atmosphere of the movie: the film opens and closes on one of the marvelous Spanish high-speed trains that we Americans can only dream about…and once again, enchanting Madrid makes for a perfect film backdrop as a chic and progressive urban metropolis. (Note to self: must visit Madrid someday!) One slight discomfort: the tired plot twist consisting of a gay man “panic sleeping” with a woman “one last time” to “make sure” that he is really gay. I think straight producers in the larger media companies (Queens was produced by Disney) insist on having this conceit to appeal to some market demographic I don’t understand, but oh, well. The movie has a wonderful message and a great positive portrayal of the gay community as definite “marriage material” so I heartily recommend this film. One more note: the five mothers are portrayed by Spanish superstar actresses, and they definitely work their roles well. Excellent casting all around.
My second recommendation is a slightly newer French film (2006) titled “3 Guys, 1 Girl, 2 Weddings,” and it is set in Paris (butofcourse) where we meet Dan and Laurent, two best friends. Dan is straight, Laurent out and gay. Dan has no hang-ups about Laurent’s gayness…but that does little to help Laurent overcome his secret love for his best friend (boy haven’t most of us carried that torch before.) Everything is fine UNTIL Dan meets and falls in love with Camille, a wonderful, sweet-natured girl who Laurent can’t help but like. Unfortunately, Laurent loses his perspective and his cool at the impending nuptials between Dan and Camille and…well, hilarity ensues. Earlier I mentioned the tired “sleep with a woman one more time” plot twist? Well it makes an appearance in this movie, too, but it’s handled with a little more realism and aplomb. Laurent, you are a hotheaded gay, but you are ok when all is said and done… and reader, you’ll feel like a croissant and a smart outfit when you’re done with this bonbon of a gay French comedy.