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Dating & New York: Review


Dating & New York: Review

In his first feature film, writer, director, producer Jonah Feingold has managed to create a stylish, hilarious and tender world around online dating. Milo (Jaboukie Young-White) and Wendy (Francesca Reale) are the twenty-something hook-up stars of this romcom and while the politics of Instagram posting and best friends with benefits contracts are discussed, the essential question comes from Cole the Doorman (Jerry Ferrara) who asks “What happens if one of you catches feelings?”. Indeed. Observed by the truth-telling friends that everyone needs, Jessie (Catherine Cohen) and Hank (Brian Muller), the film is a perfect reminder that the commitment-phobia millennials faced with a paradox of choice, sometimes simply don’t want it. Like any adult of any age. The real question appears to be about emotional attachment and whether settling for one flavour means missing out on something better.

Feingold has managed to capture the full range of emotions and experiences.  His script and its endearing banter keep the film flowing, thanks to Hanna Park’s clever editing, and excellent casting by Marisol Roncali and Chelsea Ellis Bloch.  Special mention needs to be made about the real estate agent like no other, Sondra James, whose repartee-for-a-quick-sale should be used in training manuals.

Reminiscent of Ernst Lubitsch’s The Shop Around the Corner (1940) and Nora Ephron’s You’ve got Mail (1998), Dating & New York tackles in a charming, cheese-free way the diplomacy, immediacy and betrayal of online dating apps. Officially classified as a romcom, but much more, Feingold made this in the home town he loves and you can tell. Well-crafted images shot by Maria Rusche lift the film to a new level. As Milo says, only in New York could you make out in front of a bunch of garbage and it is still romantic.

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