“OUT AT THE WEDDING”– orientation and identity

“Out at the Wedding”

Orientation and Identity

Amos Lassen

It is always a pleasure to see a situational comedy with great characters. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen very often. Lee Friedlander gives us one, however, with “Out at the Wedding”, one of the most refreshing gay themed movie I have seen in a long time. It is very funny and the characters both amuse and engage and the actors give memorable performances. We all know that comedy is not easy to pull off but the comedy of this film is exquisite and sublime,

“Out at the Wedding” is not a gay film, per se. It is a film with gay characters. There is one stereotypical gay man (Jonathon)who is important to the plot but this is a film for everyone.

Alex (who lives in New York) is originally from the South and she is in love with a bi-racial Jewish airline pilot. Because she is afraid of how her family will react to her marrying a bi-racial, she tells her fiancé and his parents that her family is dead. When Alex goes home to attend the wedding of her sister, Jonathon, her best friend, is questioned as to why he and Alex are not getting married and when Jonathon announces that he is gay, suspicion arises that Alex may be a lesbian. The rumor begins to circulate at the wedding and the guests find themselves talking about the situation.

Now Alex has to pretend that she is a lesbian because her sister Jeannie is going to pay her  a visit. Alex also now has to find someone to pretend to be Dana and Risa, an athletic lesbian is recruited to do the job. The plan goes awry when Jeannie and Risa meet and what we get is a screwball comedy that will keep you laughing and you will not stop. This is simply one of the funniest films I have ever seen.

The film premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival in May 2007 and was received ecstatically and has been screening along the festival circuits, in many cases as the opening film. It has been nicknamed as “a comedy cocktail with a splash of Southern Comfort and a gay twist.”

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