Tuesday, September 10, 2013

the 40 day BLOW OFF

By now, I'm sure you've all heard of 40 Days of Dating-- the social experiment and website created by two New York City friends: Jessica Walsh (26) and Tim Goodman (32).  Back in July, our loyal reader ThV sent us the link and I knew instantly it would be the perfect plot to a TV series or rom-com.  I was not alone in those thoughts.  CAA signed Walsh and Goodman a few weeks ago to help them field all the TV and film offers they're getting.

Which means their experiment was a total success, because what they were hoping to get out of this was film & TV offers.  I know, I know-- that's so cynical of me-- but if all they were really looking for love (like all those contestants on The Bachelor)-- then why wouldn't they have just dated like two normal people?  It wasn't romance they wanted, but attention.  From all of us.  But I digress.  Even though this whole thing was a bit transparent for my taste, it was also totally genius.

Tim and Jessica both had classically male/female relationship problems.  He's afraid of commitment and she dives into relationships too quickly and gets attached too fast.  They'd been friends for a few years and decided to date each other for 40 days.  The rules: they'd have to see each other every day, go on at least three dates per week, go to couple's counseling once a week, go on a weekend getaway together, document the whole thing for the blog, and not date or hook up with anyone else over the course of the 40 days.

There were a lot of highs and lows along the way.  Around day fifteen, Jessica tried to quit the experiment and was dealing with a lot of health issues (massive headaches, insomnia, etc).  Tim managed to talk her into sticking with it, even though he wanted to quit a few days later.  There's a lot of turmoil that follows and for the most part, I found these two to be very melodramatic about it all-- though if there was no conflict, there would also be no story.  On day 24/25 they had sex and it helped release a lot of the stress of the situation.  By day 38 they went to Disneyworld for their weekend getaway and by date 40, they decided to stay just friends (even though both of them write about falling in love with each other...cause if they didn't it would be a big who cares right?)

Like I said, I didn't read every word of the blog, but here were my takeaways on Jessica & Tim.

Jessica-- I sort of got the feeling that she still wants to exist in movie romance love.  She writes stuff like: We lay in bed and discussed life, the universe, and religion. I told him I think we’re too young as a species to fully comprehend our place in the universe. So while I don’t subscribe to a religion or believe in a deity, I like to stay open-minded to the infinite possibilities of it all. I think we’re probably just a bunch of lucky stardust, in the right place at the right time, winners of a cosmic lottery.

Um, please.  That is a conversation you would only have if you're Julie Delpy and you're in the movie Before Sunrise.  Also, while all of us ladies like to pretend like we share all the same qualities as Amelie, she goes a little too far in her comparison of being "quirky"  (side note: I can't deal with women who describe themselves as quirky.)
Tim-- I think in the end, Tim offended me more.  He goes on a lot of tangents and non sequiturs about himself on his survey answers (his deep love of jazz, how much he loves teaching, the biography of Pete Rose, that amazing time he picked up on that Persian looking girl at the bar after his friend complimented her eyebrows, etc).  I think the main reason Tim can't settle down with a woman is because he's in love with himself.

He seems to string Jessica along a bit with all of his adorable graphic design date invitations and the super romantic napkin book that he gave her on the last day (right before they decided to end things) but I got the sense that most of those sweet gestures weren't so much for her as they were his way of saying "look how awesome I am everyone."  And this video quoting Bukowski is just unforgivable.  Tim is what I like to call a Hipster Douchebag.  I mean "a message to all my lads out there"?! I predict he will rub many Hollywood executives the wrong way.
But all of my hatorade aside, I will say the site itself is GORGEOUS. I love all the little videos and art pieces they throw in here. Walsh and Goodman and the team of people that helped them with the blog are obviously very talented. And it's addicting to read about the evolution and de-evolution of their romance. Even though they're not dating under normal circumstances-- in some ways, things between them are emblematic of how normal relationships work: there are good days and bad days. In the meantime, I'm planning a new blog with the H-bomb.  I'm thinking either: 40 days of making a baby, 40 days of legal separation, or 40 days of pretending one of us has amnesia like Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates.  Anyway, readers--check out their site and let me know what you think!

A gift from Tim to Jessica on day 40.  She bought him this napkin book and he returned it with all the things he likes about her.  So cute.