Kim is a woman who was born with a rare condition: fibers grow out of her skin. In her case, those fibers have formed a wedding dress, making her an object of fascination.
After a national news program interviews Kim, a man named Adam reveals he suffers from the same disease. His fibers, though, form a tuxedo.
A follow-up story and interview arranges for both to meet for the first time… at a church. But when these two strangers start to become acquainted, Adam may not be exactly what he seems.
Writer-director Christian Cerezo takes an absurdist premise and parlays that into a surprisingly sincere and sensitive character study of two people longing for intimacy, connection and love.
The film is shot on 16mm film, lending it a beautifully mellow, textured and warm look that wouldn’t be out of place in 1970s Hollywood, an age where offbeat films about unconventional relationships thrived.
The movie’s set-up is undeniably offbeat as well — and theoretically in the realm of fantasy — but it’s handled in a matter-of-fact, even understated way. The idea actually has an odd genius: because the two characters seemingly wear their uniqueness on the outside for all to see, an emotional connection unfurls between them with an open, unabashed hopefulness and tender feeling that is genuinely romantic.
This growing connection is brought to life through endearingly awkward, sincere dialogue and terrific performances by the film’s leads, who trade sweetly stumbling banter with great wit, ease and an unforced charm. Haley Hepworth, who plays Kim, brings great warmth and ease to her role. Despite her “condition,” it’s clear that she’s comfortable in her skin, and with her kind manner and radiant self-acceptance, it’s easy to see why Adam is so attracted to her.
But even in a world where pople grow wedding dresses on their skin, it’s still hard to be ourselves. And when the true selves and motivations become unveiled, Kim and Adam reveal that the biggest obstacle to a relationship — or maybe to a satisfying life in general — is hiding our selves, whether it’s out of fear of rejection or judgment.
Yet that recognizing that fear in one another — and granting the grace of acceptance and empathy — is a key to connection. In “A Bride & A Groom,” those connections bloom despite all the eccentricities and strangeness of being human — but also are made tenuous and fragile because of them.