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'Three of Hearts: A Postmodern Family'

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Three of Hearts: A Postmodern Family
Directed by Susan Kaplan and David Friedson
THINKFilm, opens October 19, IFC Center
This well-told doc follows nine years in the lives of a gay couple and the woman they invited to share their relationship. When we meet this happy threesome—Sam, Steven, and Samantha—they're trying to get pregnant. In winning interviews spliced between suspenseful EPT tests, the assertively bourgeois strivers chat about their setup, their decision to marry, their spa business, their mix-and-match sex ("There's never a feeling of being left out!"). Actress hopeful Samantha explains how her traditional Indian family absorbed the news. Tall, dorky, handsome Steven's working-class mom ultimately embraces the wacky arrangement. When histrionic Queer Eye quipper Sam brings his mates to his 20-year high school reunion, an old girlfriend howls, "That's so coooool!" A riveting lifestyle infomercial, the first half of Hearts hails the ideal committed state—three incomes, two people buying birthday presents, always somebody to snap that vacation photo. But years pass; kids are born; giddy jokes about indeterminate paternity grow sardonic; business gets stressful; latent issues require therapy. Beyond the buzz of iconoclasm, our explorers find a regular troubled marriage, only with three sides to every problem.
 
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