‘Inlaws & Outlaws’ looks at marriage

Marriage is the subject of “Inlaws &Outlaws,” a locally made documentary that includes gay people in the conversation. The movie tells the stories of a few straight marriages, some gay unions, and a couple of mixed-up gay-straight marriages (most of these are people from the Puget Sound area).

The film premiered at the 2005 Seattle International Film Festival, but has been re-edited since that time, and gets its first regular run this week. Its unorthodox distribution history has also included screenings at churches in the Midwest.

It’s easy to see how the film could become a word-of-mouth success. Its collection of stories is accessible and consistently absorbing, and in a couple of cases, devastating.

Easily the most involving narratives come from the oldest interviewees in the movie. There’s one pair of sprightly elderly women, Pete-e Peterson and Jane Lighty, both Greatest Generation members who never quite met Mr. Right.

Their separate descriptions of the moment they met – when they both experienced the uncanny sensation of having just found the person they were destined to meet – is one of the most charming arguments for the undeniability of true love (whatever its forms) I think I’ve ever heard.

Even more intense is the testimony of Chuck Lazenby, who talks about having lived for 50 years with his lifelong partner, another man. He conveys a mix of disbelief and resignation about the clandestine ways he and his partner had to keep themselves secret for all those decades.

The end of Lazenby’s tale is so touching it probably shouldn’t be given away here, but suffice it to say that his story alone is the kind of thing that could change, or at least soften, a lot of people’s minds about homosexuality and marriage.

Director Drew Emery doesn’t beat the drum on behalf of gay marriage, if that is indeed his goal; he lets the stories unreel, cutting back and forth between the various testimonies. Every now and then a nightclub chanteuse appears, singing love songs that comment on the vagaries of romance.

Simply allowing people to speak of their experiences, and then letting those experiences echo with the voices of others, is a powerful documentary tool. Here, it makes the most human kind of picture.

Adrian &Gina Noel are included in “Inlaws &Outlaws.”

As are Heather Andersen and Leslie Christian

Talk to us

More in Life

Patterns of nature and mythology, by a Northwest master

See new works by Alfredo Arreguín, an originator of the Pattern and Decoration style, in Langley.

Doug Fahl will play Flan Kittregdge in Red Curtain’s live-stream performance of “Six Degrees of Separation.”
Stymied by virus, Red Curtain offers live-streamed theater

The Marysville troupe plans Zoom performances of “Something Rotten!” and “Six Degrees of Separation.”

The mask of an employee who returned to the office during the normalization period after corona virus quarantine, stands in front of the keyboard. Top view. Turkey.
What seniors can expect as new normal in a post-vaccine world

Here’s a preview of post-vaccine life for older Americans, from medical care to grocery shopping.

COVID-19 updates for parents and guardians

Public Health Essentials! A blog by the Snohomish Health District.

The trick to 1892 East’s crispy French toast is a combination of cornflakes and buttery palmiers, which add great crunch and rich flavor. (Bob Chamberlin/Los Angeles Times/MCT)
Is your bread stale? Don’t throw it away; make this treat

Cornflake French toast might seem a bit of a gimmick, but the added crunch is a marvel.

The Washington State Wine Commission is using August, known for decades as Washington Wine Month, to promote the Drink For WA campaign. The commission estimates it will generate 12 million impressions through advertising and social media channels. (Photo courtesy Washington State Wine Commission)
Washington wine commission rolls out Drink for WA campaign

Share an image of your special occasion along with tags of #DrinkForWA and #EatForWA.

It only takes a small amount of cash to build a homemade swamp cooler to make your home comfortable this summer. (Jennifer Bardsley)
Can a do-it-yourself swamp cooler beat the August heat?

Instead of spending $400 for an air conditioner, purchase $25 of simple parts and assemble one yourself.

Fried green tomatoes stand in fro fresh red tomatoes in this BLT sandwich. (Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS)
Make a fried green tomato BLT when you can’t wait for ripe

Firmer than red tomatoes, with a zingy, slightly sour taste, unripe tomatoes hold their shape.

Talking to stuffed animals and other lessons of COVID-19

Teddy bears are a source of comfort and can be a sounding board for something we are trying to express.

Most Read