3 things about Ben Cotner and Ryan White’s THE CASE AGAINST 8

The Case Against 8 [2014]

1. Ted Olsen leaning against a stack of paper plates.
2. Scalia: “When did it become unconstitutional to exclude homosexual couples from marriage? 1791? 1868, when the 14th Amendment was adopted?”
Olson: “When did it become unconstitutional to prohibit interracial marriages? When did it become unconstitutional to assign children to separate schools?”
3. Dustin Lance Black’s hair is always perfect.

Well-made but disappointing. Instead of the brilliant documentary that could’ve been made about this case, we instead get a very professional but rather one-sided look at what happened. It’s still worth seeing. Some of the footage is truly priceless, and there are convincingly drawn portraits of the plaintiffs and their legal team. There just isn’t enough shading. Everything’s in black and white; the gray has been carefully snipped away. Calling it a Human Rights Campaign puff piece is too harsh, but it mostly comes off as simply another gay movie just preaching to the choir. Like many GLBT movies it banks on our automatic sympathy and respect without bothering to earn it through actual storytelling skills and filmmaking craft.

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