Film critic Kristian Fanene Schmidt reviews Sundance 2021’s buzziest titles and today’s spotlight is on the documentary Searchers.

Sundance Film Festival just wrapped up! It’s around that time of year when Hollywood descends upon Park City, Utah (with all its problematic aspects, to be sure!). Or at least in theory, because our arses are still stuck in a pandemic.

That’s okay since they’ve made everything available online. I am quite happy to screen movies, sans snow, from the comfort of my bed. More importantly, it’s great that the festival is the most accessible it has ever been.

Those who can’t afford to kiki in the mountains with the industry elite can finally tune in for the first time without picking up a tab for flights, accommodations or overpriced pizza that ain’t even good. With a record number of people attending the festival this year, I hope they keep this up!

And on that note, here’s a rundown of my thoughts about Searchers at the Sundance Film Festival 2021.

WARNING – Potential spoilers ahead for this Searchers Sundance review

Directed by Pacho Velez, this documentary is described as an inside look into online dating in New York City during a pandemic. But after an hour of 20 different folks with an interface over their faces talking us through what they’re doing on the apps, and another 30 minutes spent following up with a handful of them, I felt like I wasted my time; the conversations the subjects are having with potential suitors are just the usual shit you find on the apps, in any town, with or without COVID. 

We already know men are ageist and want women much younger than them. We already know gay men are DTF and ask questions like “into?” We already know our most judgmental and superficial tendencies come out as we’re scrolling through pictures of potential hookups.

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Though there were a couple of laughs here and there, the only people who might enjoy this are those who’ve never been on or talked to anyone who uses Tinder or Grindr.

The only thing that stood out for me was a scary white guy who collated data from his dates in a spreadsheet. Information included Ethnicity (all white or Asian), Things I Liked (“skinny”, “wealthy background” and “good job” among the entries] and Reason For Ending (“English not strong enough”).

By no means am I surprised by this type of creep, but it was the only somewhat original thing across all the interview subjects. My advice: swipe right past and skip Searchers all together.

Check out a Sundance clip of Searchers:

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