Review: Shannon Alexander’s candid covid dating doc ‘Sex, Love, Misery: New New York’ has a title that says it all.

Synopsis:
Swiping. Dating. Ghosting. Have you wondered what was really going on in your date’s head? “Sex, Love, Misery” reveals candid thoughts and encounters between singles looking to mingle or marry, from initial texts to hook ups and beyond.


Dating in the city was a complicated nightmare when I was in college. That was 20 years ago now. I do not envy Millenial/Gen Y’s attempts to find love nowadays. Certainly not with the complexities of COVID added into the mix. Filmmaker Shannon Alexander gives audiences a new documentary, SEX, LOVE, MISERY: NEW NEW YORK, in which he follows six people navigating relationships with one another during the pandemic. An up-close and personal confession booth through the lens of modern dating manages to be fresh and timeless all at once. 

The film follows Troy, Camilla, Jack, Izzie, Aisha, and our French transplant Emile. The openness these young people have with Shannon speaks to the power of his humanity. They feel comfortable sharing their most intimate thoughts and insecurities. They are totally unfiltered. It is their willingness to take chances that creates an engaging viewing experience. 

There are glaring differences in communication. Hearing each reaction to the exact same date is eye-opening. The assumptions made about one another by the forms of communication and interaction are like watching a modern-day version of the HBO docu-series Taxicab Confessions. If you don’t know what that is, let me explain. From 1995 to 2006, the cable network aired a show that featured hidden camera conversations from the back of a cab. Often sexual, it was a series that aired late at night and was one of a kind. SEX, LOVE, MISERY feels similar, except that our six subjects speak directly to Shannon in true cinéma vérité style.

What makes SEX, LOVE, MISERY so intriguing is even though these people are ten to fifteen years my junior, I know them. I was them. We all were. SEX, LOVE, MISERY: NEW NEW YORK is a fantastic proof of concept. I would watch this expanded into series form in a New York minute.


Sex, Love Misery: New New York is a light-hearted/comedic piece covering dating and relationships in NYC during the pandemic,
now streaming on TubiTV.

Review: “PEOPLE PLACES THINGS” will charm the pants off you.

People Places Things poster1PEOPLE PLACES THINGS tells the story of Will Henry (Jemaine Clement), a newly single graphic novelist father balancing single-parenting his young twin daughters, writers block, a classroom full students, all the while exploring and navigating the rich complexities of new love and letting go of the woman who left him.People Places Things 1

Clement‘s asurbic brand of wit and delivery is the driving force behind the entire film… a million thanks, of course, to writer/director Jim C. Strouse for the script and casting Jemaine. Genius move for this piece of writing. Clement has you laughing out loud from the very first scene. Charming and genuine, the character of Will struggles to balance fatherhood, personal romantic, and career satisfaction. His affection for two of our wee leading ladies, Aundrea and Gia Gadsby, radiates off the screen. These kids are real naturals and their chemistry with Clement is a pure delight. Stephanie Allynne as Charlie (Will’s ex) does a fantastic job as one giant, narcissistic mess of a woman. She makes this character easy to loathe. Regina Hall is Diane. A strong, intelligent mother whose walls are understandably pretty high up. Clement and Hall make a lovely comic pair. Their witty, rapid fire back and forth is super relatable. Jessica Williams, who I am most familiar from her hilarious corespondent spot on The Daily show, plays Kat (One of Will’s students and Diane’s daughter). Her performance is down to earth and refreshing. I look forward to seeing more of her on the big screen. People Places Things 2During the scenes where Will teaches his class, there is a wonderfully cathartic flow, not only through the use of dialogue but Will’s graphic novel panels. The visuals speak volumes where words become useless. The music is a fun addition and lends to the perfect pace. Jim C Strouse has given us one hell of a gem. People Places Things is a pure joy from start to finish. With a superb cast and a clearly skilled writing and directing style, I strongly recommend you seek out this film.

PEOPLE PLACES THINGS opens in theaters Friday, August 14th