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20 DATES

USA, 1998 (MIFF 1999, Documentaries)

Director: Myles Berkowitz

A docudrama so real you'll wish it was fiction! Myles Berkowitz is recently separated and has rejection slips piling up beside his daft screenplays. Ever the go-getter, Myles decides to combine his movie career aspirations with his love life. He resolves to produce, direct and star in a documentary that will foflow him through 20 romantic encounters in order to find a soulmate and make a movie.

The first thing you should be warned about is that Myles is aimost completely without shame. His efforts to cajole, beg, plead and seduce women into accompanying him to dinner are frightfully funny. Rejections are handled with neurotic soul searching and over-analysis. The 'shoots', his dates, are accompanied by technical hitches (how do you persuade someone to ignore a cameraman hidden behind a potted palm?!), some outrage, moments to make you cringe and moments of insane hilarity. Myles bumbles through the project, attempting to complete his film before Enzo— the mobster who financed the film and is keen to have it feature as many naked 'models' as possible—comes for his kneecaps. Unbelievable, embarrassing but so painfully true! Bring a friend and leave your dignity at the door.

Myles Berkowitz' three keys tips for hopeful daters: "Volume, volume, volume. It's basically like a sporting event, you've gotta get warmed up or you'll never be ready for the real thing. Also, shoes: women are really into a guy's shoes... I think of my film as a sort of Public Service Announcement for true love. After all, if I can find it, anybody can."

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