Remember the scene in “Jerry McGuire” when Tom Cruise tells Renee Zellwegger “You Complete Me” and how our hearts just melted at the thought of a man harboring so much love for his/her mate. This was the type of love shared between Shane Bitney Crone and Tom Bridegroom. Unfortunately, their perfect love was tragically cut short by an unexpected accident taking Tom’s life.
Engaged, but not officially married, Shane was not allowed to sit with or visit the love of his his life during his final moments due to the fact that he was “not family”. When Tom’s family arrived after his passing, Shane was assured that he would be kept in the loop of any funeral arrangements to be made. The weeks that ensued involved a lot of pain, denial and non-communication from the Bridegroom family.
BRIDEGROOM is a perfect example of how love can heal but devastatingly hurt and destroy all at the same time. Your heart breaks learning the story of these two young men from very different backgrounds and how fate brought them together enriching both their lives. It’s a shame we live in a world where hate and ignorance for ANY human being that is different based on sexual preference or the ethnic background breeds such despair.
On May 7, 2012, the anniversary of Tom Bridegroom’s death, after a year of documenting his own grief, Shane decided to make a video tribute to his partner entitled “It Could Happen To You.” Posted on YouTube, the video received over 3.2 million hits and inspired over 50 thousand e-mails and comments through YouTube and Facebook.
Screened at the AFI Film Festival and on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) earlier this year, it was announced a few weeks ago that BRIDEGROOM is on the Best Documentary Short List in contention for the 2014 Academy Award and swept the film festival circuit with numerous wins. BRIDEGROOM is currently streaming on NETFLIX.