By Jennifer Harrington

With love on everyone’s mind on Valentine’s Day, it’s no surprise that HBO chose Feb. 14 to premiere a documentary chronicling the new avenue to find love in the 21st century – online dating.  When Strangers Click: Five Stories From the Internet tells the stories of individuals who have explored Internet dating.

Knowing the documentary would premiere on Cupid’s big day, our friends at Single Edition invited us to an advanced screening in New York City, which featured a Q&A with Robert Kenner of the Oscar-nominated Food, Inc., who both directed and produced the film.  The audience included 12 to 15 dating and relationship bloggers based in the city.

For anybody who has ventured into online romance – or for those who are just curious about discovering love on the web – When Strangers Click is worth checking out.  This movie both resonates with and intrigues viewers, resulting in a very entertaining one-hour special.

From the woman who cried on her 30th birthday because she was convinced she would spend the rest of her life alone (but later found love online), to the New Jersey woman who married a Prague-based man who spoke virtually no English simply because she felt the indescribable “click” with him, it’s easy to become emotionally invested in these real stories of love.  More shocking is the tale of a Swedish man who created an avatar on Second Life, an online virtual world: he forged a relationship with a woman he met through the site, went on to father her child, and the two continued their virtual (and real-life) romance.

During the Q&A, many bloggers noted that the documentary felt a bit “dated,” as it mentioned AOL and chat rooms.  A few bloggers also said that the film reinforced negative stereotypes about online dating (one said that the people profiled seemed to be “on the fringe” of society), which were more prevalent 10 years ago, but aren’t now.  However, they appreciated that Kenner picked a variety of different stories to tell and that not all of the stories had a happy ending.  In fact, he mentioned that he is looking for more stories to potentially do another segment.

While surprising, this extreme quest for love makes viewers question how far they would go to find their own soul mate in a world increasingly dominated by social media.  With more people than ever venturing into the world of online dating, this movie is sure to spark dialogue about dating virtually.

Don’t forget to catch When Strangers Click on Monday, Feb. 14 at 9 PM ET on HBO2.

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