24th Sep2013

I Do – DVD review and David W. Ross interview

by timbaros
In the American film I Do, Jack (David W. Ross, who wrote and produced as well) is a gay British man living in New York City and working as a fashion photographer. After his older brother’s sudden death, Jack is left to take care of his brother’s wife and young daughter. In the meantime, his visa to stay in the U.S. is running out so he needs to decide what to do. Luckily his best friend Alison (played by a charming and bubbly Jamie-Lynn Sigler) says yes when Jack asks her to marry him so that he can stay in the country. This complicates both of their lives as Jack and Alison need to appear as a real couple just in case the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service comes knocking on their door. Things get very messy when Jack meets and gradually falls for the Spanish Mano (a one note Maurice Compte). When Mano has to go back to Spain to take care of his ailing father, Jack has to make a decision that will affect everyone in his life.
Ross is a fine actor. He is very good-looking, charming on screen, with a nice smile and great hair and was once a member of the 1990’s UK boy band Bad Boys Inc. The supporting cast is also very good, including Alicia Witt as his sister-in-law, and Jessica Brown very adorable as her daughter Tara. The make or break part of I Do is the relationship between Jack and Mano. Unfortunately, Compte is not very good in his role – he doesn’t make much of an impact when on screen and it is hard to believe that Jack falls for him, the chemistry on screen is just not there. However, Ross and Director Glenn Gaylord have made a very timely film, especially now that same-sex marriage has been ruled unconstitutional by the U. S. Supreme Court which in June of this year struck down the Defense of Marriage Act which allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages if performed under the laws of other states. I Do is a very good tale of a gay man who has to make choices in his life, something that all of us, whether gay or straight, have had to do.
I sat down with Ross back in March of this year to get more scoop behind I Do and David’s personal journey in making the film:
Was your script based on anyone you know?  I’ve had a few friends marry for their green cards and you hear stories all the time from people. I fell in love with someone who couldn’t get their paperwork and had to move back to the UK so it was heartbreak that really got me writing.
Does your character Jack have any characteristics of David Ross?
I think I stole little bits of me for every character. but Jack was based on me for a few drafts but took on his own life in the final draft which was a relief. i didn’t want to play myself in the film. people told me the characters would take on their own lives and they did in the end.
As you know, in the U.S., at state level, gay people can legally marry, however, this is not recognised on a federal level. What is your take on this?
it’s frustrating. people hear the word marriage and think it means the same thing in America. It doesn’t. There are over 1300 federal level rights that don’t come with same sex marriage. They’re usually really important, life changing rights. Things that you need when you least expect them. We’ve a long way to go with educating people as to why DOMA has to go and how it effects people in devastating ways.
While you were in London in March, you spoke at the House of Commons. What did you speak about?
We spoke with ParliOut. They invited me to talk bout the film and what is going on with DOMA in the U.S. We had a great conversation about where we are with equality and what we can expect in June.
Why did it take a long time to make I Do?
i just couldn’t crack the script. As the issue became more relevant in America and I became more involved with the people at the forefront of the fight for equality I knew i had to make the script less of a comedy and more effective and
emotional. As soon as I realized the tone and story structure I wrote the final draft in 48 hours.
You were in a boy band in the early 1990’s (Bad Boys Inc.). What do you prefer, singing or acting/making movies?
I love it all. I miss performing but making moves is so involved and multilayered artistically. I love acting. I love creating another person’s life and the technical aspects involved of putting that performance on film. I was involved in a lot of the decisions for I DO so everything came into play, my love of music, art, fashion, and story telling. It’s all there when making a film.
Ross, who was born in Bournemouth, fell into acting after a career as a model in the U.S. He was featured in many international commercial campaigns and several award winning stage shows. He was in the Sundance Film Festival double winner Quinceanera in 2006 and was recently awarded the “Rising Film Star Award” for his portrayal of Jack from the Philapelphia Qfest film festival. I Do has been featured in over 20 film festivals and has won a few Audience Awards. According to Ross, money to make the film was raised on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, while Ross spent hours on Twitter and Facebook raising more money, some of which came from fans of Bad Boys Inc.
Very good-looking and charming on screen and in person, with a nice smile, Ross spends his time promoting the film.
What is next for David W. Ross? He says ” I’m planning my next feature, which I plan to direct and a short, possibly filming in the summer. I’m also on the look out for acting roles that speak to me and I can get just as emerged in as I did with I Do’s Jack Edwards.”
I have no doubt he will easily succeed in whatever he does.

This review and interview originally appeared in Pride Life Magazine – Issue 12.