Hot Docs Review: Love Me

Love Me 1

There comes a point in Jonathon Narducci’s Love Me, where you both want to shake and conversely hug the characters on screen. You want to scream “wake up” at the top of your lungs to those who, blinded by their desire for love, fall prey to the same traps over and over again. Exploring the rise in popularity of online mail-order bride services, Narducci’s film follows a group of American men, and one Australian, as they venture to the Ukraine in search of brides. Ranging from a chemical engineer to a milk farmer, the men come from diverse backgrounds, but have all spent thousands of dollars conversing with women online.

What makes Love Me engaging is how sincere, and at times delusional, the men are about their goals. Their desperation to be loved is as pungent as cheap cologne. One man in particular has such a skewed version of love and relationships that it teeters on being psychotic. There is also the question of possible fraud that lingers throughout Love Me.

Thankfully Narducci ensures that he gives equal weight to both the positive and negative aspects of the online mail-order bride experience. A few of the men, you will be shocked who, actually end up finding lasting love. We also get to hear a lot from the Ukrainian women and their families. Narducci does not offer much of an exposé regarding the behind the scenes operations of international matchmaking organizations. Regardless, he provides good insight into the men and women whose lives are ultimately impacted by them.

Screens
Friday, April 25, 9:30 PM, Scotiabank Theatre
Saturday, April 26, 1:00 PM, Scotiabank Theatre
Friday, May 2, 7:00 PM, Fox Theatre