MTV's new series "Catfish" (premieres tonight at 11/10c) features real-life strangers who met online and fell in love. It's a concept the silver screen has explored for some time now, and, like we imagine the show's star and creator Nev will find--sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. Either way, there's usually one hell of a story involved.
Below are seven fictional flicks that set the stage for "Catfish." Take a look at the list, and check out what the show's frontman had to say about the first episode below!
You've Got Mail -- Independent bookshop owner Kathleen (or "Shopgirl," as she's known online) starts an Internet flirtation with Joe (or "NY152"), who neglects to disclose that he runs a mega-chain book-selling conglomerate. While Kathleen engages in an IRL protest against Joe's corporate stronghold on the industry, she continues to develop a relationship with his online pseudonym. Ultimately, Kathleen's shop goes under, but she eventually comes to realize that Joe and his company aren't so bad after all. And when Shopgirl and NY152 finally agree to meet face-to-face, Joe and Kathleen begin the mushiest, gooiest real-life romance since "Jerry Maguire."
LOL -- We admit it: We weren't necessarily first in line for this film, but we appreciate that it speaks generally to the culture of online relationships. A girl named Lola (or Lol...) sorts through the complexities of young love when she realizes her best friend might be "the one." Unfortunately, her head is clouded by the buzz of online pressures to make things official, and she has to figure out for herself--in a world dominated by omnipresent screens--what's real and what isn't.
Eurotrip -- After Scott gets dumped by his girlfriend during high school graduation, he turns to his online German pen pal, Mieke, for consolation. When Mieke gives the impression he's romantically interested, Scott backs off...until he finds out Mieke is actually a girl's name. Then he gets on the first flight to Europe to win her over. After some crazy hijinks across the pond, Scott professes his love for his online crush after kind of lighting the Vatican on fire (long story), and the two set off on a promising future as...college roommates?
He's Just Not That Into You -- Mary's tried every online dating site in the book, but the relentless back-and-forth between texts, emails and phone calls has left her completely exhausted and turned off by the whole scene. When she's ready to throw in the towel on true love, the ad sales exec meets Conor. Mary ends up learning that sometimes love can't be forced through a match-making machine, but genuinely pops up when one least expects it.
Napoleon Dynamite -- Napoleon's crush is safely confined to the high school hallways, but his older brother, Kip, keeps the Internet abuzz with his constant search for love online. When a tall, sassy woman named Lafawnduh Lucas catches his eye with her profile, he knows he must have her. The couple turns heads when Kip first invites Lafawnduh to town for a visit--but true love is true love--and Kip and Lafawnduh live happily ever after, cementing their relationship with a film-ending wedding in some cornfields. Romance!
Sleepless In Seattle -- OK, so it's not quite the same type of story, but in the days preceding online-reliance, radio was a much more prevalent means of connection. When Annie, who's engaged to a man she doesn't truly love, hears the pleas of young Chicago-boy Jonah (who's trying to find love for his widowed father, Sam, on a late-night broadcast), she melts over the sweet story, and follows the tale of Mr. "Sleepless in Seattle" for months to come. Jonah ultimately writes a letter to Annie, posing as Sam, where he suggests meeting atop the Empire State building. Jonah flees without telling his father, but Sam chases him to New York and the two finally meet in the apex of true rom-com fashion.
The Social Network -- When it comes to Facebook flirting or modern social networking in general, we can pretty much credit this film's story, which followed Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg's creation of the time-killing machine known as Facebook. What interestingly started as a way to rank coeds based on looks (and still serves as such to some) became a way to communicate with folks anywhere at any time. If you're a user (there's pretty much no chance you aren't) you should check it out. And don't forget to hit the "like" button when it's over.