CATFISH (2010) When the Manti Te’o, fake girlfriend story broke, the term Catfish was everywhere. I had no idea the term came from a documentary with the same name until a co-worker told me about it. I wasn’t surprised to see MTV playing the movie shortly after the incident, no doubt using the recent notoriety of the term and film to help promote their TV series based on the movie. The movie is about a young man, Nev, who develops a relationship online with an attractive (isn’t everyone online?) woman, Abby. Nev becomes friends with everyone in Abby’s family including her daughter, sister, and husband, communicating with them mainly through their Facebook accounts. Nev begins to realize that Abby is lying to him about various things and decides to drive from NYC to Michigan to confront her. Upon arriving at Abby’s home in Michigan they realize that Abby isn’t who she says she is.
Random thoughts on the movie:
- While watching the film I realized that I had seen the trailer for it a couple years back. It looked like a decent film but I hadn’t see or heard anything about it for two years until the Te’o story happened.
- The main character, Nev, is a much nicer guy than most. Instead of calling out the who lied about who she was, he gently let her know that he was aware that she had been lying. He wasn’t confrontational at all, even though he had spent countless hours developing a relationship built on lies and drove hundreds of miles to visit someone who didn’t actual exist.
- There is some debate about whether this documentary is real or not. There are some things that make it seem like the whole things is fake, such as the fact that they filmed the online relationship from the beginning and that every event of importance is captured on film. I think an argument could be made that they recreated certain scenes for the documentary but can definitely see why people say that the film is fake.
- If the movie is real, then a guy with a noticeably lower IQ helped come up with a term that is currently very popular in this country. Abby’s husband thought that Nev was a customer of his wife’s and even thanked him for helping his wife out with her painting career. The only time he seemed somewhat on the same page intelligence-wise an average adult is at the end of the film when was telling a story about fish being transported to North America. He mentions how catfish are used to keep cod fresh and active while being shipped across the Pacific and thus people who keep others active or “on their toes” are like catfish. Thanks Forrest!
My Personal Rating: 8.5/10 Even if it was fake, it was entertaining.