Monday, April 6, 2015

Movie Review: "When Strangers Click" (2011)

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Movie"When Strangers Click"
Director: Robert Kenner
Year: 2011
Rating: ---
Running Time: 53 minutes

Many different people from many different walks of life talk about their experiences with online dating and the relationships they formed on the internet. 

For those of our readers who were unaware, BigJ and I met on an online dating website before the likes of Tindr or Grindr, you know, when times on the internet were much simpler. Needless to say, this documentary covers a subject we were and are quite familiar with and interested in as people who have experienced the subject firsthand. This documentary interviews many different types of people who have utilized various methods of meeting others online. The film opens up with a sweet story about a divorced woman who used standard online personals sites to meet the perfect partner, but there's a twist to her budding relationship: the man she met online lives in Prague. They chatted and fell in love and so on. We won't go over every detail, but you get the picture. Next was segment about a gay man who grew up in an oppressive religious family in a town that was the same way. He recounts his tales of using the internet when he wasn't really supposed to by finding his dad's password to sneak online...gee, that doesn't sound familiar, does it, mom? He used the internet as a way to talk to other gay men. He eventually moved to Washington for college and started an online relationship with another man whose screen name alluded to the fact that he was bisexual. This story has another twist, as the man on the other end of the screen was a politician. This story went on to make national headlines. From there, the documentary segues into a story about a man who had no confidence in real life because of his short stature. He used chat rooms rather than personals sites to meet people as he chronicles all of his online relationships through the years. Next, a couple that just so happened to have a fairly large gap in age recants their stories of their online relationship, which eventually leads to much, much more. The final couple has the most bizarre story of the documentary: a relationship between a much older aspiring musician who lives with his elderly mother on an isolated island in Sweden and a woman from Missouri blooms when they meet online through the social video game Second Life. Almost all of their relationship is carried out through the use of their avatars, or icons which represent a specific person, in Second Life. The man in this equation was actually able to kick-start his music career and holds concerts, but only within the realms of their virtual world of Second Life. These two have met at least once in real life and that meeting resulted in them having a very real baby, yet it would appear all of the man's interactions with his child and its mother happen through Second Life, apart from one meeting right after their baby was born. Maybe it's unfair of us to call their relationship bizarre as some may think the same about how BigJ and I met, but it is certainly unconventional to say the least.

There are many humorous moments throughout this documentary as its filmmakers explore these unique relationships. A lot of the humor is derived from the older parents of those involved who don't quite understand why and how the internet is used for romance. I'm sure many people thought the same way about online dating when BigJ and I met, but then again, as of 2013, according to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, one-third of all marriages in the United States start with online dating! Unfortunately, this very short documentary fails to explore the depths of online dating beyond these few relationships and a couple of little blurbs that flash on the screen with facts about the online world of love. This is obviously a biased documentary as far as only showcasing positive, successful online relationships, and there are a hell of a lot of horror stories about online dating, too. Just check out this article from BuzzFeed about 15 online dating horror stories that will make you want to be single forever, or go to for other dramatic encounters. If you've ever wondered where and who all of the psychos and losers and creepers and stalkers are online, do yourself a favor and visit Bye Felipe, one of my favorite Instagram accounts.

Overall, the situations showcased here are interesting enough to keep you engaged if you are interested in this subject, and with such a short run time, it breezes by in no time at all.

My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ---%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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