Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, June 25, 2015


Sisters: Sam Cagnina, Samantha Singh, Steven Margolin
THREE OF HEARTS: A POSTMODERN FAMILY (2004). Director: Susan Kaplan.

In this documentary two delusional homosexual men, Sam Cagnina and Steven Margolin, have been in a relationship seven years when the former importunes the latter to bring a woman, Samantha Singh, into the mix. Sam, the "queenier" of the two, admits years later that he was ashamed of his sexuality, and wanted to have a "normal" life and be "part of society" -- the typical reason most closeted gay men get married to women. [In an interview he also said he wanted children, which is also, of course, a way for men to "prove their manhood."] Most women would certainly shy away from being in a relationship with two gay men in a committed relationship, but because they sleep with her she apparently sees them as legitimately bisexual, which turns out not to be the case. The trouble with this trio is that we have three very immature (both chronologically and emotionally) people who decide to "play house" and make babies, indulging in the kind of polygamy that may work great in college during an experimental stage, but hardly flies in the long run. "I stayed with my experimentation and made it my life," says Samantha. Some people see this as a study of unconventional people trying to be themselves, but it comes off more as a loving gay couple being destroyed by bad decisions and the insertion of an unnecessary third party. The guys' desire to be in some kind of ersatz hetero relationship hardly makes them "unconventional" in any case. Steven says late in the film that "I was never very comfortable with my homosexuality" and it is probably his increased awareness in that regard, dealing with his internalized homophobia, that leads him to finally ditch the other two and make his own life with a male partner. [The two Sams stay together and raise two children but no longer have sex.] Samantha says of Steven, "you never expressed that you were gay," which makes her seem so clueless as to be laughable; she's the ultimate "fag hag." One senses that Steven is furious at the other two for getting him involved in a situation he probably never really wanted to be a part of, but he still has to bear some of the responsibility. Three of Hearts is not without its interesting aspects or entertainment value, but the outcome of this silly "experiment" is obvious from the first. The filmmakers never ask the tough questions, such as what other motives Samantha might have had for hooking up with these guys (that all three participants are exhibitionists goes without saying) and so much else goes completely unexplored. Ultimately, the whole movie, while well-produced, seems like a bad LOGO flick or a really lousy idea for a sitcom. One critic even suggested that the picture was contrived and phony from the get-go.

Verdict: Thank goodness gay couples can now adopt! **.


angelman66 said...

Have never heard of this...thanks to your wonderful blog, I will now give it a look. Seems to be worth seeing, as I am an addict of "reality show"-type documentaries...even when they are obviously's a guilty pleasure!

William said...

If you look at it tell me what you think! Bill