MovieChat Forums > When Strangers Click (2011) Discussion > Terrible! Unrealistic and no diversity!

Terrible! Unrealistic and no diversity!

HBO usually has quality documentaries, so I am appalled and disappointed that HBO got involved in this dreck. The filmmakers did a horrible job at presenting a diverse and realistic documentary about people who look for love online.


There are five stories in "When Strangers Click," and every single person in this documentary is white, and most are from the New York/Jersey area. I got the impression that the filmmakers were too lazy to reach out to people beyond their inner circle of friends or friends of friends.

There is one token gay person, and he is the only one in the documentary who experiences a sexual predator, and he is the only one who doesn't get a "happy ending" by meeting the "love of his life" online. In fact, at the end, he is the only one who is still single with no kids. I am straight, and I was really offended by this glaring discrepancy in how all the hetero stories had a positive outcome, and the token gay story they chose to include had a negative outcome.

I was also disgusted by how this documentary shows some truly crazy behavior and endorses it as a successful way to look for love. The documentary tries to sell these fairy tale stories as the norm for online dating, when in reality most people who have done online dating DO NOT find their spouses/loves of their lives through online dating.

The documentary also glossed over how common it is for people to be lied to/conned through online dating, and how many creeps and sexual predators there are online — except, of course, when it happens to the token gay person, the only one in the documentary who had an experience with a sexual predator.

It’s too bad that the token gay person was the only one in the documentary who had the negative story, because he was the only one in this film who seemed to be emotionally well-balanced and not needy or creepy.

Another thing I hated about this documentary was how desperate the women were. There’s something very sexist about only including women who came across as lonely and desperate for a man.

Some of the people in this documentary kept insisting that people who date online don’t judge others by their looks and they care more about someone’s personality. Yet all of the men in this documentary ended up with someone a lot younger and/or more attractive than they are.

You don’t see any of the men choose someone who is older and/or less attractive, which just goes to show that online dating really doesn’t erase certain things that are true in the real world, i.e., men usually care more than women do about things they want in a long-term sexual partner, such as age and physical looks.

Of course, it's BS that online daters don't care about physical looks. As the documentary showed, people who are hooked on virtual worlds always make their avatars look way better than they do in real life. If they were really secure with themselves and how they look when they meet people online, they'd present themselves as how they really look, not a fantasy version.

The hetero men profiled in this documentary are creepy and unattractive. The women are pathetic and needy. The token gay person in the documentary was the only one who had a negative/unsuccessful outcome with online dating. If this documentary were on an advertiser-supported network, I would want to boycott the advertisers.

The filmmakers should be ashamed of themselves for making such a narrow-minded, slightly homophobic, sexist film that portrays women as desperate, and implies that gay dating online is more likely to be unsuccessful than hetero dating online.


An extreme reaction, I think.

While it could have been more diverse, it's wrong to say this documentary has "no diversity", and regarding the gay story, you can hardly call one story out of five being "token". How many gay stories do there need to be, out of five?

I met my husband online nearly two decades ago, so I can tell you that online lets you fall in love with the mind before you even see the body. It's not that looks don't matter, but they ALMOST don't matter. Sure, we can all appreciate a sweet body, but if looks were that important, everyone would get divorced as soon as their spouse's looks changed due to obesity or aging or accident or disease. Some people do that, but it's the exception rather than the rule.

While I agree that the straight men were unattractive, they were certainly not creepy. And I did not think of the women as desperate. Of course they were lonely. That's one reason why people date at all.

The documentary doesn't appear to be a "how to" manual for safely meeting your future spouse, but rather a loose collection of stories spanning the short history of the internet since it was popularized in the early 90s.

I do agree that HBO can have better documentaries than this, but I believe many of them are of similar quality to this one.


Here's your problem - you think that you're a realist but in reality you are just projecting your own bitterness with forced negative views on this documentary (and probably almost anything else).

EVERYONE knows by now the harsh truth behind the internet and online dating. It's the only thing people talk about. This documentary tried to show a more positive picture and you would prefer the same old fear and loathing to be crammed down your throat instead?

No one was creepy. They were just normal people who were searching for a human contact and understanding to break their loneliness.

You are right however about the gay angle. It was really ridicules how the gay dude's story was the only one with no happy ending!


This is it exactly. Everyone already KNOWS the harsh realities of online dating. From the title, you should already guess what they're going to want to focus on the most: the successes. Sure, there's going to be a failure in there somewhere, and sure, they might just HAPPEN to choose the "Token gay guy" (who is actually a friend of mine, by the way) to fill that spot. But listen to his story, as well. His is a bit more of an extreme case as to why it's negative, and you should see how it affects him today. He's an incredibly kind and giving soul, and he is finally having his happy ending with an equally wonderful guy in his life.

The point isn't to say how the internet is successful for everyone in the dating field. It's saying that "Hey, you know, it worked for these people, so it COULD work for you some day." But it's also throwing out ways that you should be careful.

And like I said, no, Ryan may not have gotten his happy ending like the others in the movie, but for where he's at now, I'm really glad for him. Who can say that any of those other couples are still living their happy endings today?


Wow, is there any wonder you have no luck with online dating? I have met my boyfriend online, by commenting on his status that was a quote from a movie. We were talking for a year before meeting, and I saw his nature and wit much better during that time than at a bar, where everyone is drunk and only tries to get into your pants.

3 years later, and we are happily living together, and he is a love of my life. I am forever grateful to the internet for this meeting. Otherwise, I would have never even known that he existed only one state away.


The whole thing was just awful.

If I hadn't watched it on Netflis streaming, I'd be pretty unhappy and would demand a a refund of the rental cost.

"Sing until your throat hurts, dance until your legs hurt, act until you're William Hurt."


It was boring. terribly boring

Free Mr. Clark!