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Posted by martinteller on December 10, 2012

Hard to write about this documentary without “spoiling” anything, so let’s just say it’s about an internet love triangle that involves a lot of deception and has a tragic end.  There’s a twist that you’ll likely see coming a mile away.  It’s not a very surprising story — this kind of thing undoubtedly happens all the time, just not taken to such extremes — but it is fairly interesting to see how the internet distorts a person’s fantasies and realities, how it can fill a void for some or be a destructive diversion for others.

But director Barbara Schroeder makes some poor choices.  One is the odd choice of narration, which comes off really cheesy and manipulative.  It’s a silly gimmick.  Then there’s the talking head shrink who has nothing to do with anything but spews a lot of simple armchair psychology and obvious “wisdom”.  The graphics and music also feel… not amateurish, but corny.  It’s the first time I ever rolled my eyes at the use of Satie’s “Gymnopédie”.

I also have to say I found it a little weird how much everyone wanted to shift the blame to a particular person in the triangle.  While certainly deserving of some responsibility, ultimately it was someone else who did the most horrible thing (boy, this is hard to write about without giving specifics).  Lying on the internet, especially to such a degree, is not a nice thing to do, but it’s not a crime and I don’t think it should be.  There was no fraud, no extortion, no coercion… just a lonely, irresponsible person getting some misguided jollies.

I had problems with a similar film, Catfish, but ultimately I think that one does it slightly better.  There are enough intriguing elements to the story here to make it a decent watch, but ultimately I wasn’t that satisfied.  Rating: Fair (61)


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