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Monday, December 19, 2005

Everyone DVD review for This Week In Texas. Review written by Duane Simolke, author of Holding me Together: Essays and Poems -- Second Edition.


This Canadian movie caught my attention with its funny teaser line: “The guests have arrived and so has their baggage.” I knew from there to expect dark comedy with romantic entanglements. The fact that it centers around a gay wedding made it much more appealing.

At the beginning, though, I found the movie a bit tedious. It keeps switching between five seemingly unrelated scenes of couples arguing. Some of the music seems orchestrated with the intention of making those scenes even more annoying.

Several minutes into the film, the connections between the different couples become obvious, along with the reasons for their arguments. Family and tragedy connect them. At that point, the characters become sympathetic and even charming.

Even as the sad back-stories unfold, and even among the sometimes cold or cruel ways these characters treat each other, Everyone remains a comedy. The more the characters interact, the funnier it gets.

The multi-talented Bill Marchant wrote, directed, and produced Everyone, even co-writing and performing the title song with Michael Chase (who plays Gayle). One of the funniest roles goes to Katherine Billings, as the mother of one of the grooms; another goes to Carly Pope, whose character seems to live for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.

Matt Fentiman and Mark Hildreth are the stars, though. They portray a thoroughly mixed-up but devoted male couple who want a ceremony on their third anniversary. “It’s not a wedding,” they keep reminding each other. But it’s also not a good day for the ceremony.

Most of the actors in Everyone have appeared in a number of TV shows, movies, and/or stage productions. All of them seem perfectly cast.