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Three of Hearts: A Postmodern Family (Unrated)

Release Date: October 19th, 2005 (NYC-IFC Center) by THINKfilm.
Directed by Susan Kaplan.

BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about two men and a woman who are all married to one another and share the same bed.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: As this film clearly states from the start, this is not a traditional ménage-á-trois as most people imagine it. Steve and Sam are two gay men who truly fall in love with the very lively Samantha, who ends up moving in with them. They even start a wellness center together: Sam is a masseuse, Steve is a chiropractor, and Sam is the front desk receptionist. When Sam proposes to Samantha, she is overjoyed, but the problem is that her very traditional parents have no idea that Steve is involved in the marriage too. Until then, she had always introduced him as one of Sam’s relatives. Predictably, her parents didn’t take the news too well at first. The three of them share so much laughter and joy together that it would seem impossible to separate them. All of that changes as soon as Samantha becomes pregnant. At that point, Steve decides to just leave the relationship without an explanation. This is when the real chaos and confusion start to take place and gradually topple the relationship. Director Susan Kaplan not only provides a lot of footage showing these events as they take place, but also has Sam, Samantha, and Steve talk directly to the camera about what they experienced and how they feel. They are all likeable at first, although ends up looking untrustworthy after his departure. It is ultimately very refreshing to watch a different kind of relationship struggle to survive.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: If you thought a relationship with one person is difficult enough, imagine it with two people! It’s hard to predict how any relationship with turn out because of initial naďve expectations. In other words, people see what they want to see in their relationship by being oblivious to the harsh truths. Samantha uses a very wise analogy when she compares their threesome relationship to a sinking boat and how she refused to abandon ship even though the water was spilling onto it. None of them can change the past, but they can certainly learn from it, especially in future relationships.



THE BOTTOM LINE: A very refreshing and often engaging documentary that truly shows how the meanings of ménage-á-trois and marriage have socially evolved through time.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)

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