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Apr 16 2024
I Know You Will: I THINK I DO Hits Streaming After NewFest QUEERING THE CANON Screening Comments (0)

**Mike Doyle Brian Sloan Jamie Harrold unnamedMike, Brian & Jamie gave a lively Q&A. (Images by Matthew Rettenmund)

**I Think I Do IMG_2489 copyMonday was a blast from the past for me, an opportunity to see I Think I Do (1997) on the big screen for the first time since I saw it at the Quad Cinema. The occasion was NewFest's Queering the Canon: Besties film series, which also recently spotlighted the amazing Go Fish (1994), a movie I'd seen at the Angelika. (Yes, I'm using this series to jog my memory about my whereabouts 30 years ago.)

Now, I Think I Do exists in a crisp, new 4K restoration, well worth my trek to BAM in Brooklyn for the pleasure.

If you have not seen the film — which streams from April 19 on Amazon and Apple — I Think I Do is a charm-soaked indie that functions as romantic comedy, screwball farce and as an exploration of the friendship dynamic among a group of young people reuniting for a wedding several years after college.

The late Alexis Arquette (who then identified as a gay man) is Bob, a gay everyman who is — or was — painfully in love with his roommate, the ridiculously gorgeous Brendan (Christian Maelen, who makes a better Tony Curtis than Tony Curtis). Brendan is — or was — straight, making things complicated at first, and even more complicated later. The hitch is that once they've grown up at bit, Brendan is gay and Bob, also still gay, is now a successful soap-opera writer seriously involved with a soap star, Sterling Scott, played to the hilt to Tuc Watkins.

The rest of the friends are Bickersons-adjacent Carol (Luna Lauren Velez) and Matt (Jamie Harrold); lovable pothead Eric (Guillermo Diaz); recently minted Republican Sarah (Marianne Hagan); and — to revisit a '90s phrase — fag hag Beth (Maddie Corman), who is the comic relief of an already hilarious circle.

It's quite amazing that Sloan finds enough for everyone to do, but he does, and with still-sharp writing and no time-bound cringe moments in sight. Upon this viewing, as good as everyone is, I think Hagan's blithe Yuppie and Watkins's preening TV star are highlights, not to mention the adorable and effortless sparks between Harrold and Velez.

Yet, so much of the film relies on the witty, assured performances of Arquette and Maelen, who make for supremely confidents leads.

Mike Doyle Jamie Harrold Brian Sloan IMG_2328
Mike Doyle Jamie Harrold Brian Sloan IMG_2328The three besties on the red carpet

The situations are snappy, the jokes not overmined in any way (giving the film a sterling sincerity), Marni Nixon pops up in one of her only screen appearances and then there is the music, anchored by the Partridge Family's “I Think I Love You.”

Mike Doyle Brian Sloan Jamie Harrold IMG_2335

Mike Doyle Brian Sloan Jamie Harrold IMG_2335The Q&A brought up lots of interesting points about indie and queer filmmaking — past and present.

What's most remarkable about I Think I Do is its context — as was teased out in the talkback, it was unusual in 1997 for a film with such a queer plot to have so little angst about that fact, and to end with nobody dying. It's all light and bright, yet with heart.

Check out the full Q&A — hosted by actor and filmmaker Mike Doyle — below, and don't miss I Think I Do on Amazon or Apple: