Review: ‘Inlaws And Outlaws’

Currently heated discussion of gay marriage makes the cool-headed "Inlaws and Outlaws" a timely examination of the nature of marriage, whether straight or gay. Lovingly rendered talking-heads effort puts emphasis on basic tenets on basic human connection, not on sexual orientation or social attitudes. Film will make ideal pubcasting material, and a fine educational tool in non-fundamentalist school districts.

Currently heated discussion of gay marriage makes the cool-headed “Inlaws and Outlaws” a timely examination of the nature of marriage, whether straight or gay. Lovingly rendered talking-heads effort puts emphasis on basic tenets on basic human connection, not on sexual orientation or social attitudes. Film will make ideal pubcasting material, and a fine educational tool in non-fundamentalist school districts.

Pic starts with beautifully shot snippets of kids saying perceptive things about what the future holds for them, relationship-wise. It then moves on to grown-ups, who recall how they met, and sometimes married, significant others of both sexes. Helmer Drew Emery cleverly assembles the chats so that it takes a while to realize some participants are talking about each other. Highlights include an older woman who married a man with her lover as a bridesmaid, and an articulate ex-marine who only found himself after leaving Vietnam. Only small misstep is frequent cutaways to live-performance clips of drag-dressed singer Felicia Loud performing original jazz tunes. These make tonal contrast without actually adding much to the conversation.

Inlaws And Outlaws

Production

A True Stories Project production. (International sales: True Stories, Seattle.) Produced by Larry Schlesinger, Lisa Halpern, Drew Emery. Directed, written by Drew Emery.

Crew

Camera (color, DigiBeta), Ryan Purcell, Mark Simon; editor, Celia Beasley, Emery, Joe Rettenmaier; music, Erik Lane Barnes; sound (Dolby), Steve Jones. Reviewed at Seattle Film Festival (Refracting Reality), June 12, 2005. Running time: 93 MIN.

With

Chuck Lazenby, Heather Anderson, Leslie Christian, John Gliessman, Frank Chaffee, Dana Tolman, Tammy Snow, Enid and Virgil Wright.
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