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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

LOVE & ENGINEERING

by D.E.Levine

A Tribeca Film Festival 2014 selection

Tomslav Hristov's second documentary deals with a group of nerds who are unsophisticated about dealing with the opposite sex.  As a result, in this Finnish film, the men try to control the women like computers.  The film is both funny and poignant.

The film's protagonist or ringleader is Bulgarian Atanas Boev, who has already found a wife and fathered a child.  Feeling that he can offer valid advice Atanas proceeds to teach his friends the tried and true techniques he used to find his wife.  He's determined to find out whether an app exists that will simplify the process of finding women and meanwhile he is sharing his "secret weapons of the pickup masters."

Initially we discover that he and his friends have some outdated ideas about male-female relationships.  Earnestly steering his friends away from one night stands and toward permanent, marriage relationships, the nerds attempt to discover what women want and then give them that exactly until they achieve relationship success.  Some people might consider the techniques deceptive since the men are doing things they ordinarily wouldn't do and in most cases their efforts don't work.

While the film is interesting, especially when showing field efforts, there are expensive technological techniques involved and Hristov doesn't indicate where he got the money to fund the project.  Additionally, and one must assume not by accident, all the women shown are good looking and highly intelligent and well educated.  Obviously, a selected few were chosen to be filmed.

It's almost painful to see the attempts the men make in both conversation and attire, in order to impress their dates.  In the end, they are unsuccessful and their interpretation of what happened and why it happened differs from the filmmaker's.