20 Dates | Chicago Reader

20 Dates

By masquerading as a documentary in the vein of Ross McElwee's 1986 Sherman's March, this feature about a filmmaker who hopes to find love by making a movie about his search obscures the motives of director Myles Berkowitz, who's also the star. After claiming that the movie about to start—which of course is already rolling—is the result of an effort to make an independent documentary, Berkowitz complains that a producer who's given him $60,000 has begun pressuring him to fabricate sexier material. A scene in which Berkowitz throws a fit in his agent's office seems frighteningly real—a far cry from most of his supposedly unscripted dates. Whether or not he faked this part of his dubious self-portrait, as director he's included it (and plenty more repugnant behavior), perhaps to prove that our desire to see loveless characters find love is so strong we don't care how obnoxious they are. If that's what he thinks, he's wrong.

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