Missed Connections Dir. Martin Snyder

[FilmBuff; 2013]

Styles: indie rom com
Others: Grandma’s Boy, You’ve Got Mail

Listen, I’m not good at this sort of thing. I’m just going to try to be really open and honest and hopefully you can respect that. I don’t want to hurt you. First off, I actually enjoyed the time we spent together. Normally I prefer my films to be full of ideas or social commentary — or at least have subtitles. And I’m not saying this to try to sound smart, but normally I expect a little more from a film than you can provide. Jeez, that sounds so mean. I’m sorry! But only dealing with dense “art” films can be tiring and disillusioning. Sometimes I forget that movies are supposed to be fun. Sometimes movies are there so you can turn off your brain and enjoy the company of something insipid. That’s where you come in — easy, willing, and eager to please. I couldn’t pass you up. Call it a proximity infatuation.

I said you didn’t have ideas. That was harsh. Of course you have ideas! The rat race that is the desire to get laid. The pressure that society and the media put on us to meet our life partner before the age of 30. The stresses and struggles of living in a big city. The miraculous wonder and possibility of technology. These are good ideas! But they aren’t your ideas. Don’t front. Just be honest with me.

You showed promise, one of the reasons I decided to take you out in the first place. Your trailer makes it seem like you’re about IT guy Josh, who likes Lucy so much that he’ll do anything for her, including helping her find the man of her dreams. That’s a good story! It’s real, it’s got inherent empathy, and it’s just subtle and weird enough to work. But that’s not what you’re about. Instead, you’re about a tech nerd who repeatedly tricks a trusting girl into going out on dates with him. And she doesn’t even know they’re dates! That’s deceitful and mean.

I can tell you were trying really hard to be funny. But again, just be you. Don’t force jokes like when Josh’s friend starts writing missed connections as couplets. And what’s up with your characters? Indian dude who parties too much and is an aspiring hip-hop mogul? Suave British lawyer who is the most perfect guy imaginable until it’s revealed that he is actually an asshole? Come on! Try a little harder for me. I’ve seen all these characters before, and I hated them then. I don’t even mind that you broke the 180-degree rule, resulting in a distracting batshit attempt at a dialogue scene. We all make mistakes!

See, your problem isn’t a lack of sincerity. You want to please, and that’s a great trait. One day you might make an audience very happy. It’s just that, like, you’re replaceable. Everything about you is predictable; being with you is just like going through the motions. There’s a new rom-com every week at the local multiplex, and they star better actors and have better soundtracks and sometimes their jokes work. I hope you don’t hate me. :(

Gosh, I’m so bad at this!

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