There’s something so wonderfully enchanting about wedding movies, the love and chaos of it all. How can you not love them? Do You Take This Man is not one of those movies. The events take place over the course of a day, the day before Daniel (Anthony Rapp) and Christopher (Jonathan Bennett) are going to get married in front of all their friends and family. A series of obstacles and pre-wedding stresses prompted by the arrival of Christopher’s long-lost childhood friend (Alona Tal) bring to light the differences between these two men that could prevent a wedding from taking place at the end of the night.
Although writer/director Joshua Tunick delivers on the promise of conflict that confirms whether this couple is ready for marriage, none of those difficulties reach the level of emotional gravity intended. Perhaps Tunick’s choice to have the majority of the film take place within the couple’s L.A. home helps to intensify the tensions that exist within the relationship, but that choice ultimately creates a low-stakes night of what is meant to be the climax of the story.
At the core of this film lies a story about conversations and sharing our experiences and our feelings with the ones we love; how those small moments better define what love is than anything else. The ability to do that turns out to be much harder than it seems. Those moments are explored in a lovely little subplot between Daniel and his divorced sister, (Alyson Hannigan- who probably gives the best performance of the entire cast), a showing of the road ahead for the soon-to-be husbands. The chemistry between Rapp and Bennett never fully forms to what it could’ve been to truly convince the audience of Tunick’s message.
There are some tender moments between the characters that tie the story together, that feel like an experience of those small moments that lead us to fall in love. However, most of the supporting characters’ monologues feel more like preachy speeches and less like genuine conversations. Many of them such as Daniel’s well-meaning parents (Sam Anderson, Lee Garlington) and Christopher’s funky friends (Thomas Dekker, Hutchi Hancock), pop up throughout the night if only to explain to the audience the lessons they should be learning from their words. They are missed opportunities to tell the compelling story this film had the potential to become. Do You Take This Man is not a movie that draws you in with heartfelt revelations or profound declarations of love, it only scratches the surface of what it intends to do.