Love. A loving relationship. Many crave it, and many can’t find it. Especially in their home towns. Enter (e)mail order brides–a type of service which has been around since the wild, wild west and now, thanks to the ease of international travel and the Internet, has a much wider reach.
Love Me, directed by tonight’s guest Jonathan Narducci, follows a group of men in search of a life partner as they traverse the the unique world of Ukrainian email-order brides. Each hopes to find true love and a lasting relationship as they embark on a romance tour of the Ukraine, organized by A Foreign Affair, one of the world’s leading international dating websites.
The business model for these dating websites is simple: Women join, and men pay a fee to send and receive email from them. Some simply let members work things out on their own with mixed results, while A Foreign Affair organizes tours where men can meet women at mixers in several Ukrainian cities. A group of men set off on the AFA $12,000 tour hoping to meet someone they can marry. Not all of them will be successful, some will discover not every girl is what she appears to be while others–and their brides-to-be–take a leap of faith that love will conquer all, especially language and cultural differences as well as visa requirements.
But there are perils: Some women, even though allegedly screened by the dating websites, might be scam artists looking to shake down men for cash, with no intention of legitimately marrying them.
Hope, disappointment, love, doubt, trust, intimacy and despair–and yes, marriage, all come into play as these hopeful and somewhat naive men peruse a banquet of beautiful women whose own lives are difficult and uncertain, women whose futures and those of their families hinge on their their charms and willingness to marry and move abroad.
Sweet, sad, tender and ultimately hopeful, Love Me is a look behind the scenes at the nature of love and the lengths we will go to find it.
(And as a side note–I wonder what the current unrest/destabilization in the Ukraine is having on these dating websites and the tours)