A New Documentary by Roger Nygard .
Cinequest Film Festival Synopsis
Why is it so difficult? This is the question that nagged director Roger Nygard (The Nature of Existence, Trekkies). Has marriage always been this way? What is the origin story? He seeks experts (psychologists, biologists, marriage counselors, historians) and asks the big questions: what is marriage all about, and how do you do it right? Nygard does a deep dive into the world after “you may now kiss the bride,” by looking at three very different relationships, and tracking their progress over time. The Truth About Marriage is a powerful documentary steeped in philosophy, history, and psychology, while never losing sight of romance, joy, and comedy. Capsule Review
Film Festival Review
Jason Wiener Review–Cinequest–Day 6
…THE TRUTH ABOUT MARRIAGE, from returning Cinequest master Roger Nygard. With his trademark sense of humor and a rapid-fire editing technique, he takes us on a worldwide journey, starting close to home with his own friends and ranging as far as the amazing Don Blanquito, the most single man in the world (now married.) He ponders why a product that fails half the time and requires constant upkeep when it does work…is so popular? Full disclosure, this is a review written by a guy who has never been married, of a movie by a guy who has never been married, and is surprisingly optimistic about the institution. And he does come up with an answer in the end. And it’s a satisfying one. So all was right with the world…..
We all know the statistics: marriage rates are down, divorce rates are up, and over time people become more and more dissatisfied in their marriages. Never in human history have human beings expected so much from romantic partners. Monogamy is the rule, but humans are constantly violating it. Is love a spiritual thing or is it all chemicals? Who is the boss in a relationship? Couples admit there is a big drop in sex after marriage, so how can they keep the passion fresh? What are the secrets that lead to happy relationships? Nygard tracked down the experts — and some extraordinary regular folks — to find all the answers.
Among the experts interviewed are:
Dr. Pat Allen, Therapist & Educator, Author of, Getting To “I Do”
Robin Baker, Ph.D., Sexual Biology Researcher, Author of, Sperm Wars
Jeffrey Bernstein, Psychologist, Relationship Specialist, Author of, Why Can’t You Read My Mind?
Rabbi Lazer Brody, Marriage Counselor & Translator of, The Garden of Peace: A Marriage Guide For Men
Claire Brummell, Relationship Specialist
Fara Dabhoiwala, Ph.D., Senior Research Scholar, Princeton University, Author of, The Origins of Sex
Joy Chen, Author of, Do Not Get Married Before Age 30
Stephanie Coontz, Author of, Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage
Lucia Demasi, Dating & Relationship Expert, Author of, Lessons of Love
William J. Doherty, Ph.D., Couples Therapist, Author of, Take Back Your Marriage
John C. Friel, Ph.D., Couples Therapist, Author of, The 7 Best Things Happy Couples Do
John Gottman, Ph.D., Co-founder of The Gottman Institute, Author, Why Marriages Succeed or Fail
Julie Schwartz Gottman, Ph.D., Co-founder of the Gottman Institute; Co-Author, 10 Lessons to Transform Your Marriage
Beryl Huang, Attitudinal Psychologist, Author, Motivational Speaker, & Film Producer
Rachel Hope, Author of, Family By Choice: Platonic Partnered Parenting
Marni Kagan, Matchmaker & Relationship Coach
Benjamin R. Karney, Professor of Social Psychology, co-author of, Intimate Relationships
Matt Ridley, Author of, The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature
Christopher Ryan, Ph.D., Psychologist, Co-Author of, Sex At Dawn
Neil Strauss, Author of, The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists
Ty Tashiro, Ph.D., Psychologist, Author of, The Science of Happily Ever After
Steven Ward, Co-Author of, Crash Course On Love
Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, Couples Therapist, Author of, Make Up, Don’t Break Up
Roger Nygard has made several indie films, and worked in television as a director and editor on shows like THE OFFICE, CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, and VEEP. But he is probably most notorious for having made the documentary, TREKKIES. Nygard’s prior documentary was about: THE NATURE OF EXISTENCE. The award-winning film was an official selection of twenty film festivals and was released theatrically in 15 U.S. cities. Afterward, Nygard looked for a new concept, something even more inexplicable than existence itself, and only one subject fit that challenge: THE TRUTH ABOUT MARRIAGE.
Nygard explains it this way:
“If I one day somebody said to you, ‘I’m selling this amazing product. You’re going to love it. Everybody else is getting it. It brings great happiness. Do you want it?’
You might say, ‘Wow. Sure. If it’s that amazing. What kind of guarantee does it have?’
‘What is its success rate?’
‘50% don’t last. And the other 50% that work take a lot of effort to keep going well.’
Hearing that, you would tell the salesperson to go back to the drawing board.”
In 2010 Nygard started bringing his camera and interviewing brides and grooms whenever he was invited to weddings . “I found myself wondering, what are the chances this couple will make it? Witnessing weddings made me question my own situation as a single person.” Nygard started researching the idea of marriage, the history of this pervasive human goal, and the psychology and expectations behind it, looking for explanations behind the reasons to find out why marriage is so hard for people.
In 2012 Nygard visited his grandmother Doris Bergquist not long after she turned 100 and asked her why she chose to marry. She said, “I have no idea. I wanted to get married. That’s what people did. He came to call on me for a date one day. Carlton knocked on the door and said, ‘Nygard’s the name.’ We didn’t even know who Carlton was! But he joined the family!” This family story is one of the moments that helped send Nygard on his own journey to investigate marriage.
When you tell somebody you’ve never been married it often raises the question, “What’s wrong with you?” Is there really something wrong with not being married? This new film is a humorous and uplifting journey, that finds answers to the most challenging ideas about relationships and marriage.
Roger Nygard’s movies can be found here: .