Hot Docs 2014 Review: Love Me
When someone is so desperate for love, it’s easy to believe anything. A group of men who have solicited the help of an international dating service ‘A Foreign Affair,’ the so-called mail-order bride business, are the subject of this intimate and fascinating documentary that tugs at your heartstrings.
These middle-aged, hard-luck hopefuls have been corresponding with various women online and take a trip to the Ukraine organized by the company. They’ve planned activities, meet women, and gain attention and aspirations unprecedented in their lives.
After an apparently successful trip, in which some of the men have been promised engagements, the halfway mark of the movie comes along and the words, ‘3 months later’ hang in white against a black screen, and you just can’t help but feel something bad is going to happen.
An international story that spans time zones and years has a cast of men it’s hard not to root for, especially since they have laid themselves bare before the camera. Their emotions rise and fall, their realities constantly change, and their wallets become lighter and lighter.
A questioning spirit runs throughout, with director Jonathaon Narducci handling the subject with care but discernment, as well as incredible access. Not every story ends happily; concerns about fraud and deceit abound. The faces of ‘A Foreign Affair’ don’t always seem the most trustworthy either, offering some outrageous statements and justifications.
These men aren’t naïve but are willing to risk so much – comfort, humility, and money – to find love.