One year after Shane Crone’s life partner of six years, 29-year-old Tom, fell from the roof of a four-story building and suffered fatal injuries, Shane posted a ten-minute video at YouTube. The video, titled "It Could Happen to You," was a heartbreaking account of the tragedy, detailing the couple’s life together and talking about how Shane had been denied access to Tom at the hospital, and how Tom’s parents didn’t want him at the funeral.
Shane’s video went viral, and now Linda Bloodworth Thomason has created a documentary, "Bridegroom," to tell the whole story.
Shane grew up in Kalispell, Montana; as he relates in the film, he first realized he was gay while watching the film "Philadelphia." Thinking that liking other boys meant he as going to die of AIDS, Shane started experiencing panic attacks. Later, in high school, he wrote a love note to his best friend -- and quickly found himself shunned at school and banned from sports events trips.
Tom’s story was quite different. Hailing from Knox, Indiana, Tom excelled at everything he undertook. Confident and charismatic, Tom enrolled in a military academy high school, where he came out to a close female friend during his junior year. Tom attended college at Vassar, where his leadership abilities and athletic talents, as well as his accepting and happy personality, won him friends.
Both young men ended up in Los Angeles, where a mutual friend fixed them up. It took some time, but eventually the two fell in love, moved in together, and started up their own business. They also saw the world, traveling on the cheap, and posted their adventures online in a series of videos.
These videos, and Shane’s video diary, provide indispensable footage for the documentary. The portrait painted here -- underscored by interviews with friends and Shane’s family (Tom’s family declined an invitation to appear) -- is one of two bright, exceptionally talented young men who were lucky enough to find their missing halves and true loves in one another. "What one couldn’t think of," one friend says, "the other could."