We used to have a fantastic indie video store in New Hope that always had plenty of gay indie films that closed about four years ago, so when I spotted the gay film, “I Do,” with David W. Ross on Verizon on demand last night I rented it without even looking at the previews.
And I wasn’t disappointed this time. The basic plot revolves around a nice looking British guy, David W. Ross, who has been living and working in New York since he was seventeen years old. The only family he has left are his brother and sister-in-law. I’ll stop there, because I don’t want to give out any spoilers. But as the film progresses the British guy finds himself fighting the INS in order to remain in the US. He ultimately decides to marry his best lesbian friend in order to get a green card. Then when he least expects it, he falls in love with a guy he meets at a party…who happens to be a legal US citizen but is also from Spain.
The plot is actually much more complicated than what I’m stating now, and as I said I don’t want to give out any spoilers. But the issue of gay marriage comes into play because the gay British guy falls in love with a guy he wants to marry, who happens to be a legal US citizen and a legal citizen of Spain, but he can’t marry him because gay marriage is not legal in the US.
They mention gay marriage being legal in New York, and I think they did this on purpose. The fact that gay marriage is legal in the state of New York is absolutely worthless in this case, just as it is worthless in many other aspects in all states where gay marriage is legal. It’s great on an emotional level, but when it comes down to the pragmatic issues in life we all face eventually it leaves gay couples with very little protection. Because the US government will not recognize a same sex marriage, the character in the film is unable to get a green card if he married a man he loved anywhere in the US. The key word here is federal.
This is just one reason why I say I’m happy but I’m not jumping up and down whenever gay marriage is passed on a state level. Until same sex marriage is legal on a federal level gay men like the guys in the film, “I Do,” are still going to face the challenges of inequality on life changing levels. I actually know a couple in Florida where something exactly like this happened to them. They now reside in Germany.
In this film, even though I won’t say what happens, the British guy is left with two options. He can remain in the US and marry a woman and pretend to love her so he can get his green card. Or he can leave the country, go to Spain with the man he loves, and live there where gay marriage is supposedly legal.
It’s an interesting film to view, especially right now with SCOTUS ready to hand down rulings this week on same sex marriage. I have no idea what to predict at this point.
As a side note, David W. Ross is excellent in the film…he starred in it and he wrote it. And, this is a film about gay men, written by a gay man, starring a gay man for those who are interested in the details. I’ll watch it again many times.
David W. Ross is an English musician and actor. After moving to London at the age of 17 and seeking work as a film extra, his photo was spotted by Ian Levine, a boy band producer, and Ross was signed to A&M Records U.K., as one of the four members of Bad Boys Inc. The group released one self-titled album, which spawned five hit singles, including the Top 10 smash “More to This World”.