“We Have the Same Taste in Movies”

There’s an episode of Seinfeld where Elaine falls for a video store clerk because of his movie recommendations, developing a crush on him, despite never seeing him in the store. Of course, it turns out the clerk is a shy high school student, leaving Elaine to explain herself to the boy’s mother, but the episode is a fairly amusing take on the role of shared cinematic tastes in producing real-life chemistry. Now it’s possible to meet someone online using shared taste in movies.

Via Cinematical by way of Cynthia, I learned about MatchFlick, an online dating service that allows you to meet people based on shared movie tastes (sort of a Netflix meets Match.com).

Cynthia notes that at least one commenter would prefer not to date someone with similar taste in movies, but given my investment in film (and the sheer number of movies I watch), I’d probably consider joining if I weren’t too lazy to create a profile. I know, for example, that when I meet a fellow cinephile, especially outside the context of an academic conference, I really enjoy that initial sense of shared excitement about a director’s films. That being said, a shared taste in movies might be a pretty weak basis for developing chemistry with someone.

Dave Winer’s suggestion of pairing Match.com with your Netflix cue seems like a bad idea to me. I’d suddenly feel self-conscious about renting a really bad movie out of fear that someone might just think I have bad taste or something. And we wouldn’t want that, would we?

13 Comments »

  1. cynthia Said,

    May 31, 2005 @ 5:43 pm

    ha–that’s the exact reason i don’t participate in netflix’s ‘friends’ program. i like to rent junk sometimes and i don’t want to be judged by that!

  2. Clancy Said,

    May 31, 2005 @ 6:53 pm

    You’ll appreciate this. Know what I rented a couple of days ago? The Best of Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog. I should be ashamed…but ultimately it might be best for people to know that kind of stuff up front.

  3. Karina Said,

    May 31, 2005 @ 7:13 pm

    “I’d suddenly feel self-conscious about renting a really bad movie…”

    But i think that’s something you get over with any kind of online dating thing – just like you reach a point where you, say, stop lying about your height or weight on a personals profile because really, if you’re really looking for someone to have a real relationship with, there’s no point – you’d reach a point with match/netflix where you’d leave The Best of Triumph on the queue next to Alphaville or whatever, because you really want to meet someone who LIKES the fact that you’re into both Godard and a dirty joke-cracking talking dog. You know?

  4. Chuck Said,

    May 31, 2005 @ 9:31 pm

    Clancy, you shouldn’t feel the least bit guilty about watching Triumph….

    But in terms of having my Netflix rental habits recorded for potential dates, I’ll admit I’m a little uncomfortable with that. In fact, I usually avoid renting Hollywood crap like Paycheck or I, Robot from my favorite independent video store, which I know is kind of lame. But I wouldn’t want to feel constrained about what I’m renting because of people checking out my profile. Plus, you can always disclose IRL that you appreciate both Godard and Triumph.

  5. Clancy Said,

    June 1, 2005 @ 3:45 pm

    Ha! I wonder if Jonathan would have been interested in me had he known I rented Triumph. My guess is yes; he’s a pretty open-minded guy. :-)

  6. cynthia Said,

    June 1, 2005 @ 5:42 pm

    well chuck you probably are doing the right thing in not renting movies like i,robot from an independent video store–at one near me, the clerk literally would not allow my roommate to rent ‘training day.’ he told him that if he wanted to see denzel washington he could give him other suggestions. in places like that i think they really do judge you based on your rental habits!

  7. Amardeep Said,

    June 2, 2005 @ 10:52 am

    The danger with something like this is that it would be too easy to manipulate your own tastes in order to find the right kind of person. Especially if you’re a person who’s seen thousands and thousands of obscure movies.

    Also, rankings for connoisseurs (or “experts”) don’t make sense. How does one decide between something like The Discret Charm of the Bourgeoisie and The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant?

    It’s hopeless, I tell you. Hopeless!

  8. Chuck Said,

    June 2, 2005 @ 2:00 pm

    Clancy, I think you’re probably safe, but maybe we’d better check with Jonathan?

    Cynthia, I’d always suspected as much. When I move to DC, I’ll be sure to rent some Godard or something from the local indie video store to establish my film cred.

    Amardeep, you’re right, of course about the ease of manipulation. And you raise an important question: what kind of film geek do you want perform? Too much Bunuel or Fassbinder might make you appear too Euro-centric. Better throw in some Ozu or Wong Kar Wei to establish cinematic diversity….

  9. Clancy Said,

    June 2, 2005 @ 5:32 pm

    Just not Godard’s King Lear. If you want to see it, give me your address and I’ll send you mine to keep (on VHS). :-)

  10. laura Said,

    June 3, 2005 @ 8:13 am

    oh Clancy, are you serious?? I occasionally teach in a Shakespeare on Film course, which I don’t mind telling you between ourselves is a right royal pain, as some of the people I work with have no idea about anything that happened after say 1550. I would love to have a copy of Godard’s movie, just for departmental culture-jamming purposes if no other….but is it really so terrible? I was under the impression it was impossible to get hold of. If you want to give it away, it must be pretty bad I guess!

  11. Chuck Said,

    June 3, 2005 @ 11:48 am

    Laura, I’ve seen Godard’s Lear at several independent video stores here in the US. It’s difficult, but by no means impossible, to find. And it may still only be available on VHS (I’ve never seen a DVD version). And, I’ll admit that it’s also a difficult film to watch, although I haven’t really tried to watch it in several years.

    Still, I think it would be a useful addition to a department’s video collection.

  12. Clancy Said,

    June 3, 2005 @ 10:57 pm

    Either one of you would be welcome to it! If you email me (clancy @ culturecat . net) and give me your mailing address, I’ll be happy to send it on to you.

  13. Chuck Said,

    June 4, 2005 @ 2:05 pm

    I think I’ll give Laura first dibs. There are a few copies of Godard’s Lear floating around Atlanta, and I’d imagine the same is true of DC.

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