The Kids Aren’t Alright
Written by Brad Miner
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
For one night recently, Fathom Events (best known for short-run theatrical re-releases of classic films and for simulcasting opera live to movie theaters) presented in 750 “cinemas nationwide” a documentary directed by Jonathan Cipiti entitled The Dating Project.
The film is co-produced by Paulist Productions, Mpower Pictures, and Family Theater Productions – with distribution by the aforementioned Fathom and by Pure Flix.
It seems to me a bold plan, indeed, to have hoped to fill seats on a spring Tuesday with folks – mostly young ones, I presume – eager to watch a film about why it is so difficult to date in 2018, which is what the film is about.
The Project began in the Boston College classroom of Professor Kerry Cronin, who teaches classics and who noticed that her students are moving romantically through their teens and twenties like so many billiard balls: having glancing collisions with the opposite sex in which the traditional subtext of marriage isn’t even part of the game. Girls go to places where they know boys will be (and vice versa), and there they may “hook up,” a dreadful phrase (and a more dreadful reality) describing everything from “Let’s go to the local ristorante for a pizza” to “Let’s go to my place and have sex.”
Professor Cronin was stunned to discover that both sexes rarely ask one another out on a date.
A weakness of The Dating Project is its failure to explain why more traditional relationships are no longer preferred; why serial, planned meetings between man and woman have been replaced by a kind of directionless spontaneity. No doubt social media have something to do with this, and yet biological realities haven’t changed.