There is a universality to the suffering captured in “Aspie Seeks Love,” a new documentary by Julie Sokolow that premiered at Cinequest over the weekend.As it chronicles its protagonist’s dogged attempts to enter a successful romantic relationship, the film reveals an agenda much deeper than discussing Asperger’s syndrome or the broader autistic spectrum.
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He often forgets this give-and-take aspect of friendships. The friend couldn't take the screaming, crying, yelling, controlling, bossiness and lack of reciprocity.
My son takes things very literally and thinks with his heart.
Occasionally a viewer might feel like the film is making him appear more eccentric than he really is (the questioning about his masturbation practices was certainly intrusive and unnecessary), but for the most part Sokolow’s subject comes across as disarmingly relatable. By painting his romantic tribulations as akin to a cultural difference (Matthews’ own analogy) instead of a mental condition, the viewer is able to see him as a decent man adapting to strange customs rather than as some ineffably different “other.” Indeed, from its opening frame, the movie practically invites its audience to shout feedback and advice back at the screen.
When he posts flyers with personal ads throughout his hometown, one hopes that he realizes even the most handsome guy would have a hard time getting dates through that approach; as he shares a single Halloween party dance with a buxom woman in a Minnie Mouse costume who never reappears in the film, you wonder if he realized that he possibly could have gotten a date with her if he had just asked; and so the pattern goes.
"My 10 year old HF Autistic/Aspie doesn't have many friends, and when he's home he doesn't have any at all.