Culture > Documentary
HBO

112 Weddings

Documentary

Issue: "China's abortion regime," July 26, 2014

112 Weddings is an HBO documentary that may scare single people away from marriage—until their God-given desire to love and be loved prevails.

Filmmaker Doug Block shoots weddings on the side. Over a period of 20 years, he has shot 112 weddings, getting intimate access to ordinary individuals experiencing the most extraordinary day of their lives. In 112 Weddings, Block revisits some of these couples and asks: So how’s your happily ever after?

We first meet Rachel and Paul, married for 13 years, who on their wedding day locked glistening eyes as they stood before the officiate. They say their marriage is great—but it’s hard to understand them because they’re constantly talking over each other.

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Jenn and Augie, married eight years, share the typical troubles: losing sleep over a new baby, a layoff, days-long arguments. Augie says sometimes he wants to leave—but just for a week and then come back. As he speaks, Jenn sits a foot away and wipes tears from her cheeks.

Block (who’s been married 28 years) interviews divorced couples, too. One couple split up after 19 years when one day, during a couples therapy session, the wife discovered her successful, slimmed-down husband had been cheating on her. Another divorced screenwriter calls his ex-wife a “horrible wife” who was “abusing her antidepressants.” Then he backtracks: “No. I’m sorry. That was me.”

Some couples, like Janice and Alexander, didn’t actually marry. Instead, they had a “partnership ceremony,” in which they swore “unconditional love” without the legal “possessing.” Janice claims she would love Alexander even if he ran off with another woman. Alexander, however, is not certain his love is as unconditional as hers. And then there’s lesbian couple Anna and Erica, who say what they have is special because “when you make the decision to stay with somebody forever, you really want to work on it.”

112 Weddings can be emotionally draining, and it’s no wonder Disney movies always end with a wedding. Happy weddings are easy. Happily ever after is complicated and messy. 

Sophia Lee
Sophia Lee

Sophia is a features reporter for WORLD. She graduated from the University of Southern California with degrees in print journalism and East Asian language and culture. She lives in Los Angeles with her cat, Shalom. Follow Sophia on Twitter @SophiaLeeHyun.

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