New to DVD this week:
THE TRUTH ABOUT MARRIAGE
Kansas City, Worldfest Houston, Cinequest, Breckenridge, Twin Cities
The filmmaker explores why marriages succeed or fail.
Director Roger Nygard, who serves as a superfluous onscreen interviewer as well as narrator, wants to explore why marriages don’t work for half of all newlyweds, and why each couple thinks they’re the exception. He sort of follows three couples over several years, but largely intersperses interviews with numerous others, including friends and therapists/relationship experts. The three couples include a briefly shown older man/younger mail-order-bride who divorce pretty quickly; a polyamorous couple who seem to be doing fine after a few years; and an obnoxious white American rapper who womanizes his way through Brazil only to end up getting a woman pregnant and becoming a dad. Topics covered include the history of marriage and property laws, marriage for love as a modern invention, what causes attraction, power struggles in relationships, the importance of sex, monogamy, cheating, and the deeper reasons why people marry, such as companionship. Unfortunately, the project is incredibly basic and old-fashioned in its non-stop talking heads/survey approach to documentary storytelling, and comes off like a cross between a how-to educational film and subpar therapy sessions.