Marriages, in any form, is a great deal of work. Traditionally it has been viewed as a committed and MONOGAMOUS relationship between a man and a woman. However in 2020, it seems to be whatever works for a particular couple, and nothing is defiled as long as both people in the relationship agree on their terms of engagement.
BET’s latest movie, “Open” starring Essence Atkins (Smart Guy, Half & Half, Ambitions) and Keith Robinson (Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue, Dreamgirls, Saints & Sinners) tackles and explores the issue of “open marriages.”
An open marriage (as defined by Dictionary.com) is “a marriage or relationship in which both partners agree that each may have sexual relations with others.” Set in Atlanta, in “Open,” we meet a seemingly happily married couple, Wren (Essence Atkins) and Cameron (Keith Robinson), who also seem to have it all. However, the two are currently in an open marriage at Wren’s behest. As the child of divorced parents whose relationship was riddled with infidelity, Wren feels an open marriage will keep she and Cameron together ultimately. The couple abide by three rules: One, never sleep with an ex or anyone they have ever had an intimate relationship before, Two, never have sex with the same person more than once, and Three, always tell the other person when you are about to engage with someone else.
Surprisingly, there open marriage seems to work until Wren’s first love, Mars (Matt Cedeno), returns and they begin a torrid affair. The affair not only breaks the rules but, exposes their open marriage status, and leaves Cameron questioning the fidelity of their marriage. Wren must not only learn from her mistakes, but accept hard truths about who she is and what she really wants if she is to salvage her relationship.
This film is amazing! The subject material is fascinating! Open marriages are rarely discussed in such a productive and thorough way on any form of media. Most people assume it is way a for married individuals to have sex with other people without it being considered cheating. However, it seems that Wren and Cameron at the time, were doing what they felt was best for their marriage. We are, however, surprised it was Wren that initiated the entire notion. The growth of both characters is admirable as one find her true self, and the other realizes what is most important to him.
We were invited to a screening attended by the cast of the film, the director, Cas Sigers-Beedle, and the executive producer, famed actress, Terri J. Vaughn. There Essence spoke on how she feels about open marriages and why she chose to do the movie. “…I could never do one [she laughs]. I think people do what is best for them and their relationship…We spoke to a few couples who engage in them and they pretty much explain they set rules, talk about everything, and work through their issues…I loved the script! I couldn’t put it down once I picked it up. Wren was just an incredible character…” She went on to share how much she enjoyed working with Keith Robinson again. “We met back in 2002 on ‘Half & Half,’ he had a recurring role as ‘Neil [Crawford]’… and have remained friends to this day. He’s such a gentleman and great guy…now here we are Dee Dee and Neil married and open [she laughs].”
“Open” is definitely a film worth watching, encouraging at the very least pertinent dialogue concerning relationship, sex, and infidelity. You can catch the film now on BET and BET Her. Check your local listings for showtimes.