CATFISH (2010)

TMG  Scale 4.5
Starring no one at all,  but keep your eyes out for Nev & Rel Schulman

TMG had this independent film labeled a 1.0 but Joy Lynn and frequent dinner party guest Lucy Ann convinced  me to raise my perception.  TMG has great respect and affection  for independent filmmakers. But independent films are often independent for a good reason.

This film starts off appearing to be a real documentary.  Nev, as himself, is befriended on Facebook by an 8-year old painter named Abby, her mother Angela, and Abby’s older sister Megan. Nev and Megan start a long-distance Internet relationship. It gets very personal but then Nev suspects he is being duped.  Nev and  Rel travel from New York to Ishpeming, Michigan to learn the real truth.  To anyone who has ever tried Internet dating, I am certain the result was no surprise.  TMG never tried Internet dating, and the result was still no surprise.

I nearly walked out thirty minutes into this film because it was shear nonsense headed to nowhere. Watching a couple of twenty somethings  type on Facebook and giggle about trying to grow up is not great film making.  Cluttering the big screen with text typing and Facebook postings like in Scott Pilgrim is a trend that TMG hopes gets stopped in its tracks. It’s cute once,  but then it just gets irritating.  The only thing that caught my twisted interest was the black forest growing on Nev (pronounced Neev)  Shulman’s chest. My lord,  Austin Powers looks like an Olympic swimmer compared to this guys chest hair rug. Get out a lawn mower and trim that baby down!

TMG really resents the Schulman’s not coming clean on whether this is a true documentary.  It certainly appears less than honest. It may have started to be a documentary but then it got embellished. Is that part of the point here?  You cannot really believe everything you see and hear on the Internet or in movies. Even as pure fiction, the film made some points.  The dark point that there are people out there on the Internet who just want to have a relationship and are willing to do anything for a friend.  But that statement on loneliness and the loverlorn has been around for centuries.  The Internet just provides a new medium to play it out.

Angela’s life raising twin, mentally retarded boys along with her simpleton husband is sad and tough to say the least.  It is the subplot here of devotion and care that reaches out and makes us forgive her for most anything. You just never know someone until you walk in their shoes . . . or perhaps work on a movie set with the Schulman brothers.

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