Across the globe, thousands of people look for true love, but can’t seem to find that special someone. “Love Me,” an innovative new documentary from Jonathon Narducci, follows six men traveling to the Ukraine in a quest for love. Through the “A Foreign Affair” website, each man has multiple opportunities to socialize with very attractive women before jumping on a plane.
“If you are honest with yourself, and you can communicate with somebody else, then maybe things can happen. Maybe you can fall in love and you can meet somebody genuine,” Narducci said when reached by telephone for an interview. “That kind of theme plays a pretty important role for anyone, not just people who go abroad.”
Mike, a widower from Australia, seems head-over-heels for a lady named Svitlana, but things don’t quite work out as he would hope.
“I wouldn’t feel too bad for him from my standpoint. He was trying, but he also wasn’t listening. He never asked her anything; he really didn’t communicate with her. He never got a response, but he would assume he got a response. He was really creating a narrative of their romance completely and fictionally in his head,” the director explained.
Showing everyone’s agenda
Contrary to popular belief, websites like “A Foreign Affair” do not provide mail-order bride services. They do, however, offer very real opportunities for guys to broaden their social circles and have some fun. Some participants featured in “Love Me” don’t seem to understand that. They think they are definitely going to return with a wife.
“I knew I didn’t want to make fun of these guys overtly because that film is easy to make. That film has probably been made before,” Narducci explained. “I wanted to kind of humanize them a little bit. That was kind of a challenge, to show what everyone’s agenda was, how it came about and how it concluded.”
Relying on social media alone, it’s difficult to get to know someone new in your own country. Extreme distances and a language barrier make it even more daunting.
“You tend to create your ideas about that person before you meet them because you are not actually communicating. Maybe you are communicating a little too much, like through messages or even text messages. There are so many things that can be taken out of context with a text message in itself that you don’t know if someone is making fun of you or if they are trying to be funny,” the director said,
Some hopeful bachelors also invest a lot in these trips. Bobby, one of the bachelors, brings a “Forever Rose” to his first meeting with a woman he met through the website.
“He was talking to 10 girls [online], and when we got there, none of them responded except for this one,” the director said. “He thought it was this romantic gesture to bring this kind of weird thing, a gold rose. The whole thing was kind of bizarre. He pulled it out and [the crew and I] are like ‘What is going on?’”
Narducci also had incredible access to these six men: “These guys are not all very well-traveled. They have never been possibly in Europe before. And the Ukraine is another level. They are really fish out of water; they are really nervous.”
The women, on the other hand, were kind of a different situation: “The way we discovered if someone was genuine or not was: A) we could hear what they were talking about through translators and B) if they were calling their boyfriends as soon as they walked around the corner. That kind of stuff.”
Even after the men made the long journey, some women wouldn’t bother to meet them.
“They are sick every day or their mother is sick in another village. There really weren’t a lot of genuine situations from our experience. That doesn’t say it doesn’t happen, but it definitely is more of a challenge to find women who were really interested in the men they were meeting at those events,” Narducci said.
LOVE ME is being distributed by Gravitas Ventures and debuts on all VOD/Digital platforms beginning February 10th, 2015.
iTunes pre-order links: United States Canada