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film review

112 Weddings finds director Doug Block catching up with a handful of couples whose nuptials he’d attended.Doug Block

Happily ever after comes under the microscope in 112 Weddings, a documentary that finds director Doug Block catching up with a handful of couples whose nuptials he'd attended and filmed during his 20 years as a commercial videographer.

The director's objective is to contrast the grainy video images of the different couples with present-tense footage to measure how far they've come together since. There's something undeniably fascinating in watching people sit down in front of a camera and discuss the success of their relationship. The shots are framed so that the interviewees' body language is in dialogue with their spoken testimony, and we watch carefully for gestures of intimacy underneath their words.

A skilled documentarian, Block moves briskly from easily relatable domestic scenarios to more tragic ones, and changes things up by focusing on two young marrieds-to-be. There are moments of pain and revelation here, but the narrowness of the lifestyles on display makes it difficult to see 112 Weddings as any kind of grand statement on marriage in America. It's more like a series of snapshots from the upper-middle-class.