Category Archives: Documentary


Flash Movie Review: Love to Love You, Donna Summer

I COULD NOT BELIEVE WHAT WAS playing on the car’s radio. We were driving through the city, when the radio disc jockey made the comment to be prepared for the new hot song, he was going to play next. I was sitting in the backseat, but the car had a decent speaker, so all of us would be able to hear. When the song came on the air, I was not sure if I was hearing things correctly or someone was playing a joke. A woman was moaning. There was a strong beat behind her words, but I was still confused. Eventually the woman sang some lyrics, but the song repeated the moans over and over, extending the song out to an unheard-of amount of time.  We were stunned and could not believe what we had just heard. The disc jockey came back on and gave a quick update on the artist’s name, record stats and how she was discovered. I still remember when we were driving back home after spending the day downtown, we heard the song again. Though this time, the evening disc jockey was talking about how fast the song was moving up the song charts, making big jumps towards number one.      FOUR YEARS LATER, I HEARD A song that started out with the words, “toot toot, beep beep.” So odd, but it had a beat that was infectious. It turned out it was the same singer from that song I had heard on the radio with all that moaning. I do know, whenever this song came on you could see everyone doing something to the beat; whether it was toe tapping or dancing or air guitaring, it got people moving.  By this point my curiosity was piqued enough to figure out who was this singer because I must tell you, I was hooked. The period of time in the music world was referred to as Disco, which referred to pop music created for dancing to it that had melodies and soulfulness, mixed in with a steady beat. You could never get away from it; it was being played at weddings, parties, clubs, television shows and movies. This singer was being referred to as the “Queen of Disco.” She was on the cover of Rolling Stone which was a first. And the best part of this is I got to see her live in concert in a concert hall that is considered to have the best acoustics in the world. With the stage dark, a background music track began to play. The lights came up to show a winter scene on stage with fake snow and crystal icicles hanging from fake trees. The singer slowly came out on a moving sidewalk, dressed in a full length feathered white coat. Her voice was crystal clear as she sang the beginning of one of her famous songs. I was so excited then as I am now, seeing her again in this musical documentary.      A DAUGHTER’S CURIOUSITY ABOUT HER MOTHER’S life was the impetus for the creation of this movie about the singer, Donna Summer. Directed by Roger Ross Williams (The Apollo; Life, Animated) and Donna’s daughter Brooklyn Sudano (Taken-TV, With This Ring), I was all into this documentary since I was a big fan of Donna. With home and never seen before footage, I was fascinated seeing the behind-the-scenes tidbits of famous songs and events. Adding in the commentary from such celebrities as Elton John and Giorgio Moroder, I enjoyed reliving those times without having to dress up in Qiana shirts and platform shoes. There was though a sanitary feel to this film, which I understood since Brooklyn was behind it. I would have appreciated getting a deeper sense of Donna and the people in her life with more in-depth, unfiltered interviews. However, hearing the music again transported me back to those times and gave me such a fun feeling that I could easily forgive. If you choose to see this picture, do not be surprised if you get the urge to dance.

3 stars 


Flash Movie Trailer: The Janes

SITTING ON THE BENCH FOR THE entire basketball game was not my version of fitness. Nor was it sitting on the sidelines of a football game. My gym classes prior to college were for the most part a series of competitions which I detested. If you were a mediocre or poor player, you suffered. Because football had the most physical contact, I did everything I could to hide instead of playing it. The gym classes for the school semester were made up of a series of sports games. Unless you were picked to play on a team, most of the class period was sitting on the bleachers. I never wanted to participate in any of the sports activities because they were essentially too violent. The gym teacher spent a good amount of time in his office during the class, after throwing out to us a couple of basketballs or footballs; he was never around when the aggressive students would take advantage of the weaker ones. An illegal block, a smack on the back of the head, a strong shove; they were just a few of the tactics used to intimidate the average or less players. There was nothing to gain by me staying in the gym; in fact, every minute I stayed offered a bigger opportunity for me to be attacked or abused. Gym class was detrimental to my health.      IT WAS NOT UNTIL MY COLLEGE years before I began to understand how to achieve and maintain a healthy body. Granted back then, the dominant focus was on the outer physical part of the body. At least, it was a start and I started paying attention to the things around me in class. I noticed the students that solely worked with barbells and weights, could not do much aerobically. In other words, they would tire out quickly during a jog. In the swimming pool, they had little flexibility which caused them to be slow swimmers. My own health plan did not fully solidify during those years; it really took off several years after I graduated, and it was due to a relative’s medical heart scare. It was then that I took health and fitness seriously and started participating in aerobic classes. Seeing that most people attending class looked like they were fit already, an idea formed in my head based on my experiences. I wanted to create a class not only for those who were already fit, but for those who did not feel comfortable doing exercise in a group setting. It was part luck and part determination, but I found my niche and had people attending from all different fitness backgrounds. There was a need that I tapped into and discovered how good it felt to help people reach their health goals. It was that type of similar mindset which I saw in this amazing documentary that resonated with me.      IN CHICAGO, A GROUP OF WOMEN formed a network made up of code names and secret drop off locations to work together and offer a healthier option for women in need. Directed by Tia Lessin (Trouble the Water, Citizen Koch) and first-time director Emma Pildes, I searched for this film due to having seen and reviewed Call Jane with Elizabeth Banks and Sigourney Weaver. Discovering Elizabeth’s film was based on a true event spurred me to investigate the topic further and this film was one of the things I found in it. The mix of old footage with the surviving women of the group doing the narrations was the perfect mix to entice viewers. When thinking about that period of time and what women had to go through, I found it more shocking on how the Janes did as much as they did. Also, it was not lost on me how this picture is just as relevant today as it was back then. This engrossing film was a true find that made me feel privileged to have seen it.

3 ½ stars 

Flash Movie Review: Navalny

IT DOES NOT MATTER TO ME what a person is passionate about, it is the fact they are truly passionate about it that makes me admire them. I knew someone who collected porcelain dolls. In their house, they had display cases of them in the living room and den, along with a smattering of them perched on various shelves throughout the house. It was a little too eerie for me, but listening to her describe the craftsmanship and history of the dolls was interesting enough for me to appreciate her passion. I had never seen such a variety of dolls; some dressed in elaborate Victorian style garb, others in clothing native to their heritage. I wondered at some point how it was walking into the house at nighttime and seeing a sea of reflective eyes peering out from the darkness. Her enthusiasm reminded me of the time I was into votive candle holders. It was after I moved into a single-family home and received a housewarming gift of one that spurred me on to start collecting various holders that would play with the reflective light coming from the flame. My point about all of this is to commend a person’s energy, drive and commitment to submerge themselves into something meaningful to them.      THIS BRINGS TO MIND AN ACQUAINTANCE of mine. We became friendly when our paths kept crossing at various events around the city, besides having mutual friends. He worked for an organization that promoted equal rights, starting out as an office manager. From there, he became a spokesman for them and that is where he found his true passion. He threw himself into election campaigns, trying to get candidates in office whose values aligned with his organization. I remember at one debate he was involved in where the opposition was using a passage of the bible to make a point. You should have seen him when he went on the attack over that comment. He informed the opposing person that he originally was in the priesthood, and he knew for a fact what the person recited was not exactly how it was written in the bible. The crowd went wild with cheers as my friend tore through the other guy’s platform he was running on, pointing out examples of narrow-mindedness and prejudices. I was in awe of his debating skills and knowledge. Just as I admired the spokesman, I quickly grew to appreciate the man’s passion in this Oscar winning documentary.      DESPITE KNOWING HOW DANGEROUS IT WAS to take on the country’s leader, Alexi Navalny refused to stay silent about his beliefs. Doing so would make him an easy target in the government’s eyes. Directed by Daniel Roher (Once Were Brothers, Ghosts of our Forest), this Academy Award winner for Best Documentary was part thriller, part comedy and part tragedy. There were a few scenes that had to be seen to be believed, as they say. I could see why Alexi has the followers he has because of his charismatic wit and passion. This documentary follows Alexi and his family in a straightforward manner, almost as a bystander, which I felt allowed the family space to maintain some sense of normalcy in their unreal world. Going into this film, all I knew about Alexi was the fact he was a Russian opposition leader and that was because of the event he was involved in that made worldwide news. Knowing that made certain scenes in this movie stand out in a spectacular way. Also, I believe there is an aspect of this film that makes it relevant and relatable for various world citizens. Though I did not see the other Oscar nominated documentaries, I can understand why this one received the award.

3 ½ stars 

Flash Movie Review: The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker

BACK IN SCHOOL WE TALKED ABOUT hitchhiking our way to the coast. Since we lived in the Midwest, it would require a lot of hitchhiking to get to the Pacific Ocean. We would sit and conjure up scenarios about the kinds of food and clothing we would need for the trip, including a discussion on what would be the best type of shoe or boot to wear. It all sounded like a solid plan, but never left the talking stage. I loved traveling by almost any means, whether it was by car, train, bus or plane. Each mode of transportation provided me the opportunity to see the country from a different vantage point. One trip by train showed me a mountainous landscape where the icicles were as sharp as daggers. A trip by helicopter was magical because as we rose towards the top of the volcano, we passed through multiple rainbows due to the moisture hanging in the air. When I think back about our idea of hitchhiking, I believe there was a part of me that was hesitant about sitting with a stranger, feeling forced to carry on a conversation. Sometimes, I do not have an issue talking to a fellow passenger on a plane or train; but other times, I just want to chill out with my own thoughts. There have been times where I purposely have kept a magazine open on my lap, hoping the person next to me backs off from attempting to make small talk.      THE OTHER THING THAT HELD ME back from moving forward with our plans was the fact that I had already seen enough movies where the innocent character was picked up by a stranger and killed at some point. Or the other scenario would involve being dropped off at the side of a road in the middle of nowhere. I do not mind hiking a few miles but not hours and hours without finding water or food. When I was a kid, I do not recall hearing any negative news about hitchhiking. To tell you the truth, I cannot remember even hearing or seeing hitchhikers; maybe it was not a thing back then. However, at some point when I completed my schooling, I recall becoming aware of hitchhikers; maybe because instead of being on a campus I was traveling now down into the city, seeing more of the landscape. As I am writing this review, I am trying to remember when the last time was, I recently saw a hitchhiker on the side of the road. And you know something; I cannot recall when the last time was, I saw someone hitchhiking. After seeing this unreal documentary, why would anyone want to hitchhike?      WHEN A LONE HITCHHIKER GETS CAUGHT on video saving a woman’s life, he becomes an instant viral sensation. Not to soon after, he becomes a different type of sensation, a sinister one. Written and directed by Colette Camden (The Rise of the Anti-Vaxx Movement, America on a Plate: The Story of the Diner) this crime story about Kai Lawrence, the hitchhiker, was unbelievable. I was fascinated watching the trajectory of his quick fame as everyone was jumping on the bandwagon, to shower Kai with praise and gifts. The story came about with the help of KMPH news anchor Jessob Reisbeck and cameraperson, Terry Woods. Not being someone who does much online, I was fascinated at the quickness and intensity in Kai’s fame. What stayed as an unknown to me in this movie was the fact that there was never any discussion about Kai’s circumstances. Was there a mental health issue or childhood trauma that led him to the path he was on? I felt there could have been more investigative work into the back story. The story in this documentary will grab the viewer; but, I do not know if it will keep hold of their attention for the duration.

2 ½ stars 

Flash Movie Review: Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over

I APPRECIATE LISTENING TO THE SOUND of a beautiful singing voice. Even some speaking voices are wonderful to listen to, in my opinion. I tend to gravitate to those singers who have powerful voices, who have a wide range and can belt out the notes of a song. It amazes me how a vocalist can maneuver through a musical composition with perfect diction and tone. When I attend concerts to see musical acts, I expect the performers to sing live. When choreography became just as important as the singing, artists started to rely more on recorded tracks and simply lip synch the songs. As some of you are aware of, I am not a fan of lip synching or auto tuning at a concert. Though the staging and choreography play a strong part in live shows, I would rather have live singing be the focus. If I am spending money to see a performer simply lip synch to recordings, I could save the money and listen to their album at home. There have been several music artists I have seen in concert who are on stage performing for close to 3 hours, all of it live. To me they are the standard when it comes to live shows.      WHEN A MUSICAL ARTIST ACHIEVES A high level of success, I am highly impressed when they contribute to humanitarian causes, either financially, physically, or as spokesperson. There are singers and bands that are as well known for their charity work as for their performances. I admire the work they do and appreciate them more when they do not let their charitable work take centerstage. Then there are those artists who think just because they are successful in the musical world, they have the right to impart their opinions and thoughts on the general population. I frown on such actions because I do not equate musical success with world politics. An extreme example would be the musical artist who has been recently in the news for his antisemitic remarks. Just like I do not see certain actors’ movies due to their offensive actions, I do the same thing to musical artists. I never played in my fitness classes an artist’s music if they were racist, sexist or prejudiced, either the lyrics in their song or in their personal life. Feeling the way I do; I was taken by surprise while watching this musical documentary. Also, as a sidenote, I saw Dionne Warwick in concert in a small venue during the twilight of her singing career and she sounded as good as when she first started out professionally singing.      COMING FROM A MUSICAL FAMILY, DIONNE WARWICK was a trailblazer in her own right. She also was the older cousin to Whitney Houston. You might be surprised to see what Dionne was able to accomplish in her life. Directed by David Heilbroner (Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland, The Newburgh Sting) and relative newcomer Dave Wooley, there were several times where I was taken completely surprised by the actions of Dionne. Granted, there has been a lot written about Dionne but there still were a few things I did not know about her. There was a segment in this film where a music rapper talks about the time early in his career when he met Dionne; it was priceless. There were other tidbits like this that Dionne shared throughout this movie. Where I said previously, I distrust artists who brag, I gained a new level of respect for Dionne as she shared some of her charitable work with the interviewer. Mixing in old footage with Dionne’s description of the time was a real treat. Hearing about the history of her songs and the things she fought for, I was left with a whole new appreciation for what she accomplished in the musical world.

3 ¼ stars 

Flash Movie Review: God Forbid: The Sex Scandal That Brought Down a Dynasty

RECENTLY, I ATTENDED A RELIGIOUS CONCERT where members of that church were performing Christmas songs. They were being performed by a choir, band and hand bells; some of the songs had audience participation. I knew some of the songs because I remembered being taught them in elementary school, besides hearing them being performed by a multitude of individuals throughout my life. Looking around the auditorium, I saw how the music was moving people. It brought them a sense of comfort, a sense of joy; I daresay, a peaceful contentment. As a lover of music, I understood what they were feeling, despite the fact the songs had no significance to me except a school memory. I was not raised with the same religion that the people around me were raised in. And you know what, it is okay. I would not expect them to know any of the religious songs I was taught when I was a child. It is the same when I am talking to a stranger; I do not know their religious background, so during this time I say, “Happy Holidays.” More times than not, I am wished a “Merry Christmas.” Out in the world, people practice the faith they believe in and yes, some assume their faith is the true faith, whatever that means. I appreciate the fact that I live in a place that allows freedom of religion. However, I do not feel religion has a place in government.      MAYBE IF A COUNTRY’S CITIZENS ALL practice the same faith, then possibly it would work to incorporate religious beliefs into law, but what if someone who is not of the same faith moved to the country? Would they be allowed to live there? Interestingly, I attended a wedding in another country and there the legal ceremony could not have a religious aspect to it; the country was strict keeping “church and state” separate from each other. I agree with that because I do not feel religious beliefs should be incorporated into a country’s government. In fact, I feel religious figures should not be allowed to make any comments about a government’s laws. I think the term is “tending to one’s flock” and that should be the main objective for religious figures. Teach, study the doctrine within your religious organization and help and support the members. My feelings about the separation of church and state, besides studying history in school, were sparked when there was a knock on my front door from a missionary. They wanted to save me, not taking into account that my religion was just as valid as theirs. It angered me in a similar way to what I saw in this startling documentary.      LITTLE DID A YOUNG POOL ATTENDANT realize that his partying with an older couple would expose him to the heights of religious and political power. With Landon Price (Critical Thinking Hymns of You) as Jerry Falwell Jr., newcomer Betty Monroe as Becki Falwell and Sam Myerson (Find Me, Mary Loss of Soul) as Giancarlo Granda; the actors were used periodically to reenact events that were being mentioned in this film. Director Billy Corben (Magic City Hustle, 537 Votes) also used archival footage and interviews to complete the story’s trajectory. I was appalled at the things that were revealed; and I am not talking about the intimate relationship Giancarlo had with the Falwell’s. What people do behind closed doors is none of my business. Their story could have filled the entire length of this movie as well as the other story line concerning the political aspects being able to do the same thing. I felt like there was more to say and delve into with each story line. No matter what your religious beliefs, I am sure you would find this film as startling as I did.                             

3 ¼ stars  

Flash Movie Review: Inside the Mind of a Cat

IT WAS OUR FIRST TIME SPENDING the night together, but I was not expecting it to include their cat. I had heard many stories about Dancer, the Siamese cat; she sounded like a sweet, affectionate pet. I had packed an overnight bag and in hindsight, I should have brought some type of cat toy. While eating our carry out meal, Dancer perched herself on the kitchen counter so she could have a clear view of us eating at the table. I was expecting her to jump onto our table any minute based on the way she was intently looking at us. Gratefully there were no interruptions during dinner. At the end of the meal, we took our drinks and went into the den to settle on the sofa. Dancer took this to be an invitation because she followed us down the hall then jumped onto my lap once I was seated. The entire time we sat on the couch Dancer kept trying to reach my face, either climbing up my chest or coming from behind via the back of the sofa. No matter what admonitions were sternly warned at her, Dancer was determined to get to my face to either kiss or scratch me. I could not tell which way it would go.       THE DETERMINATION DANCER DISPLAYED WAS JUST a prelude to what was in store for me when it was time to go to bed. We were done closing up the house and making our way to the bedroom. Dancer was right at our heels the entire time. When we got into bed, Dancer jumped onto the bed and made her way to my pillow. She was taken and put back down on the floor. We settled ourselves back in bed and sure enough, Dancer jumped back up to try and reach me again. This went on a couple of more times before Dancer was placed outside of the bedroom. I thought our problem was finally solved, but I was wrong. Dancer started crying behind the closed door and kept it up non-stop until we opened the door. This time, however, Dancer was given a catnip toy as a distraction. She was all over the toy and gave us a moment of peace. By the time we fell asleep, I had forgotten about that cat. It did not take me long to fall into a deep sleep; but it took me less time to wake up after Dancer, from the floor, jumped up and landed on my back. I was done with this cat, so I got out of bed and made my way back to the den, where I slept the rest of the night on the couch while Dancer slept in my place in the bedroom. I would have loved to know what she was thinking when she first saw me walking into the house.      CATS CAN BE SO MUCH FUN and yet be so mysterious. Wouldn’t it be helpful if someone could explain what cats are doing? This documentary may finally provide you with the answers. Directed by Andy Mitchell (Secrets of the Whales-TV mini-series, American Serengeti-TV movie), I got a kick out of watching this movie. Granted I love cats and dogs equally; however, if you are not a cat person then I do not think you would want to spend the time listening to the “experts” discussing cats and their behaviors. The pacing of this picture was steady and light. In fact, there were times where it was getting to be a bit too cartoonish for me, but I still enjoyed seeing all the cats and their different settings. I do not know if this movie provides absolute proof about cats’ behaviors, but I will say I found it quite interesting. I would have loved to have seen some of these experts try and explain that nutty cat, Dancer.

3 stars 

Flash Movie Review: Our Father

THROUGHOUT MY ELEMENTARY AND HIGH SCHOOL years, I only met two individuals who had been adopted. They happened to be half-sisters, who shared the same mother; a married couple agreed to adopt them both. When I was told about their adoption, I became curious about them. They had the same color hair and eyes; one was taller than the other. That was pretty much all they had in common as far as I could see. The taller one was studious and quiet, while her younger sister did poorly in school and was considered a wild party person. They were not part of my circle of friends for the most part; however, there were times we would be eating at the same lunch table. While eating, I would keep an eye on the two of them to see if they ate the same type of food items. I do not know why I focused on this; I guess I was simply intrigued about their story of being birthed by one woman and raised by a different one. As I said earlier, I had never met anyone who had been adopted. From my observations, I chalked up their differences were due to having different fathers. I have not thought about them for some time, but I wonder with the easy availability of DNA testing if they ever were curious to learn more about their genetic history.      THE REASON I MENTIONED DNA TESTING, is because I had recently heard about a woman who, out of curiosity, decided to get tested because she was curious to find out what countries her ancestors originated from. When she received the results, she learned something more that she was not expecting; her DNA did not match with her dad. This news did not settle in immediately; but after studying her results again, it sunk in that the man she knew her entire life was not her father. Sadly, she could not ask either of her parents because they were both deceased. As far as she was concerned, her mother must have had an affair with another man; either her father knew and her parents decided to never say anything about it, or her mother kept it a secret her entire life. The woman was devastated by these results. I know it bothered her because she became angry that she could not confront her mother to find out the truth. Since this person is only an acquaintance, who I have had no contact with for some time, I now wonder if she delved deeper into her DNA results to see if she might have had any half siblings she could reach out to for any answers. It would be a shock if she experienced anything close to what happened in this startling documentary.      AWARE SHE WAS ADOPTED, JACOBA BALLARD was curious to know if she might have any unknown relatives. A DNA test could help, and it did, but not the way she was expecting. Directed by first time director Lucie Jourdan, this film played out like a suspenseful crime story. The story is so incredible that I was in synch with what was unfolding for Jacoba. The use and mix of actual recordings with reenactments went seamlessly and made for a more powerful statement in my opinion. As the story progressed, I found myself going deeper into shock from what was happening. I will also add that I became angry while watching the outcome of an issue that was being worked on. To think before we had the ability to test our DNA, there could be many people living under a delusion/fantasy. Be prepared when watching this documentary; it might have a bigger effect on you than you expect.

3 stars  

Flash Movie Trailer: Lucy and Desi

THERE WAS NOT AN ANNOUNCEMENT, LET alone any acknowledgement, but I knew someone had walked into the ballroom. There was a shift in the air, like that moment before lightning strikes when the air has an electrified, static crispness. I was attending a fundraiser that was being held in the ballroom of a downtown hotel. Easily, there were over two hundred people in the room, dressed in tuxedos and evening dresses. When I felt that shift in the air, I started to look around the room. My gaze shifted to the far end of the ballroom when my ears detected a low buzzing sound from that direction. It was the crowd murmuring to each other as President and Mrs. Obama had walked in. The two who were tall compared to the guests around them, were easy to spot. I am not exaggerating when I say there was a definite shift of energy in the room; a building excitement and respect as the guests started to nonchalantly shift around to get a better look at this couple. The term “power couple” was something I had heard before, but I had never experienced it live, until now. These two were a major power couple; one could feel it on and below the skin surface. It was an extraordinary feeling, I have to say. It was as if the energy in their bodies was emanating out to every person standing in the room.   THE TERM “POWER COUPLE” TO ME is more of a modern term. I cannot recall it being used back even in the 1970s or 80s. It seems as if a marketing department created the title to bestow on a couple where both participants are active in their fields of interest or work. One of the earliest couples I can remember who were considered a “power couple” was Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. I remember how the news reported on them, from walking the red carpet of a movie premier or awards show to a humanitarian trip at a place that had experienced a natural catastrophe. For some reason, I never thought of a king and queen being a “power couple,” though I guess it could happen. By my definition, Eva and Juan Peron of Argentina would be labeled a “power couple.” It is funny, I never thought of the couple in this documentary as a “power couple;” however, after watching this movie I have to say they were most definitely a strong, dynamic couple who deserved to be called a “power couple.”      WITH SO MANY TV SPECIALS AND articles having been done on Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, one would think there was nothing more to learn about them. Luckily, it turns out not to be the case with the release of this intimate, biographical comedy. Directed by Amy Poehler (Baby Mama, Parks and Recreation-TV) and written by Mark Monroe (The Cove, The Dissident), this film focused on honoring the celebrity couple. With the blessing of Lucy’s and Ricky’s daughter Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill, never seen footage was expertly mixed within the story and celebrity interviews, which were given by such celebrities as Carol Burnett and Bette Midler. It was obvious while watching this movie that Amy has a strong fondness for Lucy. But I also appreciated how Amy handled Desi’s successes and demons; he does not always get the credit he deserves for the new and progressive things he did for the industry. The home footage used was wonderful to watch. I felt like I was seeing Lucy and Desi in a fresh, unique way. Part tribute, part history; this was a well-done film that provided not only entertainment but unknown facts about one of Hollywood’s true “power couples.”

3 ½ stars 

Flash Movie Review: The Tinder Swindler

THE STORY HAD MAGICIAL ASPECTS THE more I listened to it. A friend of mine had met someone on one of her social media sites. They started a conversation that went back and forth in an easy, rhythmic way for a short time, before they advanced to video chats. When both were comfortable, they agreed to meet at a popular park in the city. They wound up from walking around the park to sitting on a park bench for a total of 4 hours; never was there a lull in their conversation. The way she described it was saying he showed her the part of his heart that had been healing from a past hurt. She added that he was a sensitive man who teared up when they were talking about their pets, and he spoke about the pain he suffered when he had to put down one of his cats. Evidently, the four hours flew by, and they agreed to go out on a longer date for a meal. A week later they met for dinner then afterwards, walked down to a coffee shop where they sat and talked for two hours more. As I was listening to her tell it, it did cross my mind that all of it was too good to be true. I felt I needed to play the devil’s advocate to make sure she was not missing something about him. It turned out things just got better and better for the two of them, to the point where they decided to get married.      I WAS SO HAPPY FOR MY friend and that everything fell into place for her with this man she met online. This was in such sharp contrast to another friend of mine who has had no success meeting people online. Every time we get together, she always has a new story about one of her online dates. There was the one guy who was too eager to date, texting her everyday with little “inspirational” messages and quotes. Then there was this fellow who never mentioned having any friends, along with having no outside interests from his day job as some type of buyer for a company. She always carries pepper spray on her and once, she almost had to use it on a guy she had met who got aggressive with her on their 2nd date. I know how difficult it can be trying to meet someone online; one needs to go through a lot of choices before finding one that clicks and moves in synch with you. If you want to see what I am talking about then feel free to watch what happens to the women in this unbelievable documentary, when they thought they had found the perfect man.      WITH ONE SWIPE A PERSON’S LIFE can change drastically when on a dating app. Directed by 1st time director Felicity Morris, I could not look away from this film that at times played out like a crime thriller. The story was so outrageous that there were moments I thought this could not be real, yet it kept on going. I was not sure how authentic all the re-enactments were, but it did not matter to me. However, the way the scenes tightly unfolded added believability to what was taking place. Also, I enjoyed the way the director built up the story; it took me from one emotional extreme to another. I felt the story would be relatable to anyone who watched it. Maybe not on the same level, but everyone has their level of trust. It is funny; when I asked people who had seen this film what they thought, they were divided into two camps. One group sided with one side and the other group felt it was the other side. I will leave it up to you. This movie can be watched by anyone, but especially those who have used dating sites.

3 ½ stars

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