We live in a society where face-to-face interactions have been replaced with swiping right on a pocket-sized LED screen. That is the new way we date. What Now, premiering in West Palm Beach tonight, is a film that explores the complicated world of modern dating through Tinder.
In the trailer, three dude friends are trying to make it in Hollywood and decide they need to make fake Tinder profiles in order to impress the L.A. ladies. Meanwhile, three L.A. ladies sit on a couch, drinking wine, cringing at dick pics. You can imagine that scene well. It highlights the importance of the Tinder profile photo, something that can make or break a connection in a matter of seconds.
JJ Cassiere plays Joey, a 30-year-old who sells vacation packages and hangs out with a strip club DJ (named DJ) who wants to make a name for himself in the EDM world while also finding the perfect woman. Cassiere, who hails from West Palm Beach, met Ash Avildsen, founder of Sumerian Records, as a music booking agent. Avildsen later approached Cassiere about a film he was creating based on their dating experiences.
“We’re showing people the ups and downs of dating, especially living in L.A. It was definitely the most fun experience I’ve ever had in my life,” Cassiere says.
It's hard not to laugh when you first see the What Now press release. Who would actually pay to see a movie about three bros making fake Tinder profiles? Especially with a tagline that tells audiences to “Swipe that look off your face?”
As a single millennial and someone who had been tired of meeting her fair share of frogs, I'm not interested in downloading this horny app. I did cave about two years ago and made an OKCupid profile. After scrolling through dozens of creepy messages and "matches" (who were anything but), all I was sure of was that I never wanted meet a potential mate through a screen. But after watching the trailer, I began to empathize with the Tinder swipers. After all, we’re all just trying to find the right person, by any means necessary.
Cassiere thinks your experience all depends on what your Tinder objective is. “If you’re going on the app just to be like, ‘Oh, I wanna hook up,’ then that’s your M.O. But you can find people on there that are looking for relationships. At least in the online dating world, you can do some more research.”
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I guess. But it's hard not to feel like Tinder has made people more shallow and dating more inauthentic. However, like Cassiere says, everyone knows couples who have met on Tinder and they seem to be happy enough. People say the awkwardness of a first date is softened when meeting people online first, but isn’t that kind of what makes dating fun? The uncertainty of not knowing whether you'll spend the rest of your life with the person across from you or sneak out of the bathroom window is, if nothing else, exciting.
“I think if someone can watch the movie and laugh — learn from it — I think the message is really about not being so judgmental,” Cassiere says. “It’s not about statuses and how many followers on Instagram or how much money you make. Some of these girls write (guys) off because of their jobs, and what they do for a living but they’re still good people, and that’s what I think hopefully people can get the gist of.”
With a message like that, you might want to swipe right on this film.
What Now premieres 8:30 p.m., Thursday, March 19, at Muvico Parisian 20 in CityPlace, 545 Hibiscus St., West Palm Beach. The movie will be released April 3 on numerous digital platforms, including Google Play and Amazon Prime.