Powerful documentary examines a less than traditional marriage

Life & Arts Editor

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For Monica and David, the subjects of the 2009 documentary “Monica & David,” marriage life doesn’t mean independence from their family. The couple in their 30s have Down Syndrome and, despite being married, are still totally dependent on their parents physically, emotionally and financially.

“Monica & David” chronicles the happy couple’s first year of marriage and all of the normal hardships that go along with it. Except that for Monica and David, being intellectually disabled makes everything that much more difficult; they are not able to go anywhere alone, especially since David was diagnosed with diabetes around the time that the film was shot.

Beginning two weeks prior to their wedding day and ending at their one-year anniversary dinner, “Monica & David” paints a beautiful picture of the pure and unconditional love that these two adults have for each other—the kind of love that you don’t see every day.

The true heroes of the story are the couple’s mothers, though. Both women had their disabled child at about 20 years old and were left alone by the fathers to raise the child. Most parents of disabled children are overbearing in their parenting style, but these two mothers have learned the delicate balance between providing the support needed and letting them live their own life.

The love that the joined families have for each other is tremendous and evident in every scene of this heartwarming documentary. Their struggle to get through day to day life is real, but the affection they display towards each other may show otherwise.

The film is directed by Monica’s cousin, Alexandra Codina, and won best documentary at both the Tribeca and South Dakota Film Festivals, along with accolades at several other festivals.

Most fascinating of all about watching this documentary is to see how very much like every other couple Monica and David are. They cuddle on the couch while watching sports, they sometimes bicker at each other and they even do their chores together like folding laundry and making the bed.

But any couple today could take a page from Monica and David’s book about how to truly love your partner with everything you have—and not to be afraid to show it.