Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement (DVD Review)6 Nov, 2010 By: Billy Gil
Prebook 11/9/10; Street 11/30/10
Edie & Thea is both a winning portrait of a long-term romance and an understated plea for the legalization of gay marriage.
Edie and Thea, in their golden years as they narrate their own documentary, met and fell in love during the 1960s, at a time before tension over gay rights reached its boiling point with the Stonewall riots of 1969. Despite facing numerous hardships, from homophobic family members, some of whom basically disowned the two, to Thea’s debilitating MS, the two stay coupled throughout their years.
Edie and Thea relive their lives together through projected photos showing the two women, young, attractive and full of life, traveling the world from Venice to Africa and buying their first home together. The two are frank about their sex life and past arguments, retelling such stories as when Thea hits Edie but then later saves her life while rafting in Africa.
The end result is that we see Edie and Thea as vulnerable, flawed, very real people who are very much in love. There isn’t a lot in the way of conflict, but the story definitely draws in the viewer, particularly in the end. Try not feeling emotional when the two are finally able to marry, in Canada in 2008, after decades together, or when happy-go-lucky Edie suddenly becomes full of gravitas as she makes an impassioned speech at a gay rights rally.
By not setting a particular agenda but rather showing the everyday nature of their relationship, Edie & Thea is not only relatable and touching to viewers of all stripes, it’s a complete success in making the case for allowing gay marriage.