Saints + Sinners

"Saints + Sinners" chronicles the altar path of a New York City male couple who are as manly, upstanding, and straight-arrow (if not "straight") as they come. In fact, they're so respectable they're almost dull. Docu's case-pleading is duly high-minded and effective. But the sense of emotional identification that might have really socked the point across is lacking. Nonetheless, pic's a natural for educational broadcasters.

Those who imagine something lurid and sacred-institution-mocking when they hear the term “gay wedding” should take a gander at “Saints + Sinners,” which chronicles the altar path of a New York City male couple who are as manly, upstanding, and straight-arrow (if not “straight”) as they come. In fact, they’re so respectable they’re almost dull. Docu’s case-pleading is duly high-minded and effective. But the sense of emotional identification that might have really socked the point across is lacking. Nonetheless, pic’s a natural for educational broadcasters.

Native New Yorkers who each had a rough time coming out, lawyer Edward DeBonis (who was married to a woman for a few years) and Senatorial employee Vincent Maniscalo are white, white-collar, middle-aged and well-off gay men who’ve decided to formalize their partnership as a public statement. They want it all: A Catholic priest (though they settle for an Episcopalian venue), an elaborate affair with a classical quartet and formal dress, a New York Times’ wedding announcement, et al. But sense of status-conscious entitlement rather than passion comes across, if only because duo is so emotionally undemonstrative. Tech aspects are fine.

Saints + Sinners

Production: A Persona Films production. Produced by Yan Vizinberg, Abigail Honor. Directed, edited by Abigail Honor.

Crew: Camera (color, video), Yan Vizinberg; music, Michael Pichton. Reviewed on videocassette, San Francisco, June 30, 2004. (In San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Film Festival.) Running time: 71 MIN.

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