On_Line | Chicago Reader

On_Line

Woody Allen's Manhattan goes digital, as a half-dozen lonely hearts congregate at an adult Web site and use streaming video to chat with—and jerk off to—one another. Most of the action in this 2001 indie drama takes place on computer screens, with grainy faces framed by sharp little boxes; the 21st-century conceit is topical enough but the characters and their problems couldn't be more stale. Josh Hamilton plays the site's Web master, who spends his every waking hour slugging booze and staring at a beautiful but unattainable woman. First-time director Jed Weintrob seems to consider him an emblem of our age, but you could do the same thing in a bar and save on electricity. 86 min.

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