The exact point in Weiner when the audience feels like this isn’t something that should be observed arrives somewhere about the halfway point of the film.
The film is striking primarily because it provides a human side to Congressman Anthony Weiner during his run for the mayor of New York City in 2013. It essentially humanizes Weiner because of its sense of forced intimacy. Josh Kreigman and Elyse Steinberg portray Weiner as humanized through the way the primaries of the film treat him, and essentially, how he was believed to be at the beginning of the film–a punchline.
The epigraph at the start of the film helps to thicken the tongue-in-cheek nature of the initial pun of the film. And indeed, sexting allegations and Twitter trouble and multiple acts of infidelity certainly are not ways to engender a personality to an audience.
But the tightrope act of the film is that Anthony Weiner is by no means on trial outside of the public consciousness. Kriegman and Steinberg do not at any point demand sympathy for Weiner or his wife Huma Abedin, (who is fascinating), or even for Sydney Leathers.
Instead, the film does one thing and one thing well. It places the camera on its subject during multiple intimate moments and forces us to watch. The film is about Weiner, but it is not about Weiner. It is about betrayal and redemption and the possibility of rebirth. It begins where it ends, as its subject realizes its own circular nature.