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By Eric Campos | September 29, 2006

I wouldn’t put it past anyone to turn in an edited version of their wacky wedding video as an independent film. So when the opening first few minutes of “Say I Do” presented footage of a wedding party suiting up and preparing to head out to that holy spot of commitment, I got real bummed. I mean BUMMED. But then there’s that one great thing about indies (amongst many others), and it’s that many times you never know exactly what you’re going to get. Here I thought my Sunday was on the fast track to getting supremely f****d up, instead I wound up seeing one of the best films of the year.
A soon-to-be married couple and their wedding party are all gussied up and ready to head out to a ranch in the middle of the desert. Their limo driver has everything under control, escorting them out into the middle of nowhere as they all drink champagne in the back of the car. But then there’s the problem of – they really are heading out in the middle of nowhere. Their situation switches from being lost to stranded and the tumbleweed of disaster just builds and builds as this hilarious and thoroughly engrossing film progresses.
I’ve seen many an indie film shot in the desert – WAY more than any of you, I guarantee…except for maybe festival directors and programmers. Many of them suck with only a rare couple rising to the surface as pieces of work that deserve attention. It’s understandable why indie filmmakers like to choose the desert as the stage for their epic saga – there’s nobody around to f**k with you. You can have your leading actor running around, naked, covered in blood, waving a shotgun in one hand and a rubber chicken in the other and there won’t be anyone there to say s**t. The downside is that, with such a barren location, you better have a goddamn good story and even better characters in order to make your audience want to stick with you through the duration. Director Ron Vignone and crew have pulled this off better than I’ve ever seen anyone do. They even leave you wanting more at the film’s end. The ending credit sequence to this film is like a sad farewell to a group of great friends.
Needless to say, newly married couples and soon-to-be-married couples will find this film an absolute treasure. For the rest of us – it’s just as entertaining. We just won’t have that connection to it that others will. Either way this is an outstanding film. When screening near you, go out of your way to catch it.

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