A Wedding Like That (2015) – By Philip Smolen

Sam Kessler (Mark Dessauer) is a loving father to three great kids including his oldest daughter Laura (Megan Lynette Hunt). He comes home one day to find out that Laura is getting married to Joan (Roni Jonah). Taken aback by this revelation, he then finds out that everyone, including his wife Tami (Cindy Maples), knew about Laura’s sexual orientation. Sam is unsure of how he feels and how he should react. But the one thing he knows is that he loves his daughter and wants her to be happy. So Sam does his best to understand Laura’s decision and as the wedding nears, he becomes the supportive father that his daughter needs. However, when Joan’s father (Todd Reynolds) refuses to attend the wedding on religious grounds, Sam tries his best to convince him that he should.

“A Wedding Like That” is an intellectual and sincere look at the issue of gay marriage. Writer Mark Dessauer and directors Lewis D. Chaney and Neil Kellen refrain from hysterics and clichéd reactions about the subject and instead present the problems faced by Laura and Joan simply and realistically. Sam doesn’t go into a tirade when he finds out about Laura, but instead quietly searches his own feelings in order to reach an understanding. Even Joan’s religious conservative father is presented pragmatically. Dessauer, Chaney and Kellen give their characters dignity and present them as complex and fallible.

The 44 minute short features a picture-perfect cast. Mark Dessauer shows the proper level of befuddlement as Sam, but as his love for his daughter surfaces, you can actually see it in his face. His performance is inspiring. Cindy Maples shines as Sam’s loving wife Tami who knows exactly how to read any situation. Both Megan Lynette Hunt and Roni Jonah bring an ideal blend of love and trepidation to the characters of Laura and Joan. Both are unsure of their future, but convinced of their love for each other.

My only issue with the film is that I wanted it to be longer. I wanted to learn more about these wonderfully human characters and I can easily see this as a full length feature. “A Wedding Like That” is a thought-provoking look at a sensitive subject and it is presented with honesty and integrity. It occupies an elite orbit in the indie cinema universe.

To watch the trailer for “A Wedding Like That”, please go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx4Le9RvfY4&feature=youtu.be

For more information on “A Wedding Like That”, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/AWeddingLikeThat