Thinking about falling in love? Not sure you’re ready for the commitment? It’s only a piece of paper, right? Yet, we still want to get married…I think? With so many life-altering questions, fewer couples today are getting married, and the divorce rate still continues to rise. The idea of marriage and the practice of marriage is on the mind of documentarian Roger Nygard (Trekkies) in The Truth About Marriage. Somehow, Nygard was able to cram everything you’ve wanted to know about marriage into an 81-minute film.
Here’s just a small sampling of the issues discussed in The Truth About Marriage: the history of marriage, marriage and the ownership of women, marriage in forming strategic political alliances, the moment in history when love became the reason for marriage, why is marriage so tricky, Darwin’s pros and cons of marriage, why we marry, why we divorce, when the feelings fade, etc. Exhausting, yet this is just the tip of the iceberg…a very small tip.
“…the history of marriage, marriage and the ownership of women, marriage in forming strategic political alliances, the moment in history when love became the reason for marriage…”
Nygard, who appears on camera, is not short on scientific and educational resources, while interviewing almost twenty-five experts in talking-head style interviews. Most notable are Pat Allen, Ph.D. (author of “I Do”), Robin Baker, Ph.D. (Sperm Wars), Fara Dabhoiwala, Ph.D. (The Origins of Sex), Joy Chen (Do Not Get Married Before Age 30), Neil Struss (The Game), Ty Tashiro, Ph.D. (The Science of Happily Ever After), Jeffrey Bernstein (Why Can’t You Read My Mind) and Noel Biderman (founder of Ashley Madison). The actual list is so much longer. Consider that when bookstores existed, Relationships had its own aisle.
Along with the romantic know-it-all, Nygard brings in a few friends to provide their practical experience. He brings in a good range of unconventional couples. Joe Yannetty is a comedian working on his third marriage. Michaela and Frank, who married years before as the older American man/younger immigrant woman, and are now getting a divorce, while remaining friends. Rachel Hope shared about the rearing of her child with an unmarried friend and authored Family By Choice: Platonic Partnered Parenting. There’s also a couple getting married in an old-time fairy ceremony. My favorite couple is Don Blanquito and Yasmin Oliveira. Don moved to Brazil to live the single-life and have lots of sex. During his initial interview, Don is sitting on his bed with the woman he met the night before naked and sleeping. But the bachelor lifestyle came to an end when Don met Yasmin and the two now faithfully married.
"…so much detail and insight, it will literally make your head spin."