"112 WEDDINGS," AN INTIMATE EXPLORATION OF RELATIONSHIPS AND MARRIAGE, DEBUTS JUNE 30 ON HBO
For the past two decades, filmmaker Doug Block (HBO's "51 Birch Street," "The Kids Grow Up") has helped support his documentary work by shooting the occasional wedding. Known for his intimate, fly-on-the-wall style, he repeatedly found himself bonding with couples on their big day, never to see them again once the video was completed.
Having long wondered what became of some of these marriages, Block began to track down a few of his favorite couples. Juxtaposing rapturous wedding-day flashbacks with remarkably candid present-day interviews, the documentary 112 WEDDINGS asks what comes after "I do," exploring timeless themes of love, romance and commitment when it debuts MONDAY, JUNE 30 (9:00-10:35 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO.
Other HBO playdates: June 30 (4:55 a.m.) and July 2 (2:45 p.m.), 6 (3:00 p.m.), 8 (9:15 a.m.), 12 (10:15 a.m.) and 17 (5:30 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: July 3 (10:00 p.m.), 15 (12:45 p.m.) and 19 (8:15 a.m.)
"When you guys were about to get married, what did you think marriage was going to be?" asks Doug Block, posing the question to nine couples. Rachel and Paul, the first, have been married 13 years. "No idea?" Rachel answers uncertainly, as she and Paul begin laughing. Their bodies and voices overlap comfortably as they discuss the ups and downs of marriage while their two young children play nearby. Although their current tiring, child-centric life stands in sharp contrast to the pageantry of their wedding day, they are still happy. "With you, I don't feel like it's work," Rachel declares.
Augie, who married Jenn eight years ago, was relieved when challenges such as moving in together and getting married didn't harm their relationship. "We got married and everything was just fine," he recalls. It wasn't until the birth of their first child, and the ensuing sleep deprivation, that the relationship was truly tested. Augie admits there were times he thought of leaving, prompting an emotional Jenn to confess, "When things are going good, I don't want to sit and think about when they're bad."
Others have also had their relationship rocked by the birth of a child. "It feels like a lifetime ago," says Olivia, recalling her wedding to Dennis nine years before. Wedding footage shows them dancing in each other's arms, but that blissful beginning gave way to a harsher reality when their daughter was diagnosed with cancer just before her third birthday. While their different ways of dealing with the illness led to conflicts, Olivia and Dennis stuck together and are grateful they didn't lose their daughter.
In addition to the nine couples who share stories of post-wedding life, 112 WEDDINGS visits Heather and Sam, a young couple preparing for their big day. They welcome the chance to discuss their upcoming nuptials. "It's nice to have just a little space to reflect on, you know, what [marriage is] going to be," says Heather, smiling at her fiancé.
Like Heather and Sam, Janice and Alexander are not yet married, though Block filmed their partnership ceremony 13 years ago. Since then, they have realized they are ready for "a different kind of commitment" after two children and a newfound desire to protect the family they've lovingly created.
After catching up with couples old and young, happy and struggling, married and divorced, Block arrives at Heather and Sam's ceremony to shoot his 112th wedding. Having bonded with so many couples on their big day and returning to hear the realities of "for better or for worse," Block reveals what he's come to believe is the most significant moment of a wedding: "The one where two people face the world together as a married couple and walk off bravely into the unknown future."
112 WEDDINGS is written, produced & directed by Doug Block; produced by Lori Cheatle; edited and co-written by Maeve O'Boyle. For HBO: senior producer, Lisa Heller; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.