I Do Falls into the Usual LGBT Traps


The chronic artistic (and, ironically, political) failure of much mainstream American queer cinema is its earnest, facile treatment of the issues affecting the LGBT community. Director Glenn Gaylord, working from a script by David W. Ross, falls into the usual traps in this film about marriage equality and immigration, and the ways double standards with the former penalize gay couples dealing with the latter. British expatriate Jack (Ross) sees his life crumble when his work visa is denied though he’s been in the U.S. for over a decade—he works as an assistant fashion photographer and is helping raise the young daughter of his late brother. Complicating matters, he’s just met the love of his life, whose own citizenship status is tricky. A green-card marriage to his prickly lesbian BFF only makes matters worse. Ross’s on-the-nose script offers little subtext or nuance, and the film—for all the inherent drama of the situation—has very little real-life grit. That’s partly because the ensemble’s performances are surface deep and partly due to the fact that Jack is a picture-perfect being: the financially secure, handsome gay guy who’s an adoring uncle, thoughtful lover, and sensitive friend. Though we see him hook up with a sex-buddy early in the film, he longs to be wrapped in convention. The film’s inherent conservatism and its fetishization of the status quo accurately capture (and are in the service of) the politics of a huge segment of modern American queerdom. But the resulting agitprop is lackluster art.