Life After Ex

Rated: Not Rated

        After what can only be described as an extensive and lengthy fight, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 26, 2015 to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states. This victory was hard fought, and had more back and forth than the world record holding ping pong game. The yo-yo of emotions was exhausting for all embattled in the fight, but in the end the message that “Love is Love” finally won.
        There were hiccups along the way though, as some states legalized same-sex marriages, while others had not. This lead to many problems, as a couple could legally get married in one state, but back in their own state the marriage would not be recognized as valid, meaning they’d have no marital rights. This also led to issues when and if the couple in question needed to get divorced. If their state didn’t recognize the marriage, then they couldn’t get divorced since they weren’t married in the first place. There would be no legal splitting of the possessions they’d acquired as a couple, since in the eyes of the law they never really
were a couple.
        In these instances the couple in question would be forced to move to the state they got married in, live there for a specific amount of time (usually a year), and only then would they be able to go through with the divorce. As you can imagine, this made already difficult situations worse for the people involved.
Steve yells at Dylan in Life After Ex (Photo courtesy of Jim Fields)

Steve yells at Dylan in Life After Ex (Photo courtesy of Jim Fields)

        Filmmaker Jim Fields explores this topic in-depth in his new feature
Life After Ex, and although the film is fictional, it sheds light on an issue not many people outside of the LGBTQ community have given much thought to. I asked him how he came up with the idea for the film. He said, “While doing some research  on the subject I found out about how each state had laws that would either recognize, or deny the rights of couples married in Iowa, or other states where same-sex marriage was legal. There was even a case of two women who couldn’t get a divorce in Nebraska, even though they had been married in Nebraska. That went to the [State] Supreme Court. All of that inspired the script. We were in pre-production when the Supreme Court ruled to make same-sex legal nationwide, and at first I was like ‘What do we do now?’ Then I had the idea of incorporating it into the story and rewriting the script to make it fit.”
        The film is enlightening, heartwarming, funny, and deep all at the same time. I asked Jim what he hopes audiences will take away from it. He said, “So far, most people, especially younger viewers, didn’t know about [how] getting married in one state didn’t guarantee rights in another state for LGBTQ couples. I tell viewers that even though we now have marriage equality, those rights could be taken away through a court ruling, or congressional action, so it’s important that we all stay active in our national politics to protect marriage equality for everyone. Also, I’ve tried to show that the gay couples in the film are just like other couples who are straight. They go through the same problems, more or less, as everyone else. And of course I want viewers to not give up on love. Like our tagline says, ‘It’s never too late for love’.”  
Anthony laws down the law in Life after Ex (Photo courtesy of Jim Fields)

Anthony laws down the law in Life after Ex (Photo courtesy of Jim Fields)

        Jim has done well to ensure that these messages are prominently displayed throughout
Life After Ex. The film highlights that while all relationships are different, they all have the same problems and go through the same sorts of turmoil, no matter the genders of the people involved; but it does so in ways that are both obvious and subtle, which is a tough balancing act, but one Jim has excelled at. I look forward to checking out his next project, The Poet Returns.
Life After Ex is not rated, was written and directed by Jim Fields and stars Nick Knipe, Spencer Wolfe and Daniel Selby. It’s currently making the film festival rounds, and will be available to stream on Amazon in the near future. More information about Jim Fields, Life After Ex and the history of marriage equality can be found here:

  • Life After Ex on IMDB
  • A History of Same Sex Marriage Website