Always A Bridesmaid

Always A Bridesmaid (2000)
Vision Entertainment
Cast: Nina Davenport
Extras: Filmmaker Bio

In her documentary ’Always a Bridesmaid’, filmmaker Nina Davenport has created an oddly dichotomous situation: the film focuses on her, but we rarely see her on-screen. Davenport is a 30-year old filmmaker, who makes a living shooting wedding videos. She’s obsessed with getting married, and her profession only fuels this obsession. She’s dating Nick, a rambling, incoherent man who makes Forrest Gump look like Maya Angelou. Nick is five years younger than Nina, and doesn’t like talking about commitment. So, to explore her situation, Davenport turns her camera upon young brides, older women who never married, former boyfriends and family members. She is desperate to learn what she must do to get married, and what will happen if she doesn’t.

’Always a Bridesmaid’ delves into some interesting territory, but ultimately fails to deliver. Half of the film plays as Davenport’s personal video-diary, while the other half is a documentary exploring marriage, and these two halves never gel. The film is very self-indulgent, as we hear Davenport’s personal thoughts and meet many of the people in her life, yet, we never really learn anything about her or her motivations. (Everyone she interviews mentions her ’problems’, but we never learn what this means.) To her credit, Davenport is apparently a great interviewer, as she is able to get people to be very open and honest to her on camera. Also, several of the shots in the film are very nicely composed. Still, I would have liked to have seen a more detailed exploration of how and why women in our society feel pressured to marry. ’Always a Bridesmaid’ is interesting, but doesn’t quite make it down the aisle.

Docurama brings ’Always a Bridesmaid’ to DVD, where the film is presented full-frame. Apparently, shot on 16mm film, the image is relatively sharp, but does show the expected grain throughout. The film also contains wedding video footage, which has been transferred to film. So, we get several different looks here. Overall, the image is clear, though a bit dark at times. The colors are nice, and there is no distortion to the image. The audio is a Dolby Stereo providing clear and audible dialogue (but we still don’t know what Nick is talking about.) The only extra on the DVD is a biography of Davenport.