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When Strangers Click: Five stories From the Internet (DVD Review)

16 Nov, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Disinformation Co.
$19.98 DVD
Not rated.

We’ve all seen the hopeful TV ads for Match.com and eHarmony and cringed reading about Internet dates gone horribly bad on Craigslist, among others.

New HBO documentary When Strangers Click is an engaging compilation of five short stories showcasing ordinary people seeking to find one of life’s cruelest illusions: true love.

The film says women dating online worry most about meeting a serial killer, while men fear meeting a fat chick.

Directed by Robert Kenner (Food, Inc.), Strangers rises above the reality TV trap by highlighting five (OK, 4.5) compelling couples that bucked the odds when it appeared their quests would end for not — or worse.

Culled from more than 100 Web-dating story submissions hastily assembled when funding for the project came through, Kenner and his team skillfully focus on the best stories, which include a young gay man from a Christian family in Montana who unwittingly became involved with the mayor of Spokane, Wash. — an unabashed moral conservative — after meeting online in a gay chat room.

Other tales feature a young divorced woman who travelled to meet and marry an online suitor — in Prague — as well as a new media professor whose diminutive stature (he’s barely 5 feet tall) all but precluded meeting women conventionally.

That the anonymity offered by the Internet lends itself well to dating is best underscored by the coupling of a middle-age Swedish wannabe rocker and an overweight woman in rural Missouri. The two met online as beautiful avatars in virtual world Second Life.

Now that’s true love.

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