Dir. Andy McGregor, Tron, 10 – 14 March
Love in the modern age is hilarious. Whether it was suggesting how much you adore someone by having them creep up your Bebo friends list or swiping right on Tinder, the days of making eyes at a potential courting partner across the dancefloor while The Human League pump through the speakers is long gone.
Love 2.0 is an exposition of just how neurotic we are. Suzie and Gary are acquainted virtually, through a tagged photo taken by a mutual friend. She likes One Direction and One Born Every Minute, he recites beat poets and has posters of Breaking Bad. Her love of Simply Red leaves Gary clueless, but he feigns an interest so they have something to talk about.
And so the tropes of modern dating are laid bare in a funny-because-it’s-true-and-tragic way. Gary descends into a mental breakdown over a delayed reply from Suzie, only for her to come back and lol away that she was in the bathroom. Suzie writes and deletes and rewrites (and repeat) messages that Gary eagerly awaits since he can absolutely see that she’s typing something! More maliciously, Gary taps into the exploitative means of anonymity and lack of physical interaction – Suzie has no idea what he is really like and so he can present any version of himself he wishes.
Love 2.0 is hilarious, and awfully good at making you drop your guard. Gary is a sympathetic and charismatic character despite being completely loathsome. Suzie is wide eyed and enthused about everything, and the sense of dread you feel when the inevitably catastrophic meet-up arrives is very real because you want only good things for her.
So laugh away at Love 2.0, a lot, but then go home and tell that girl you’re tweeting that you’re not as into True Detective as you said you were. The dating rules have changed but honesty has always been required – the true tragedy of this play is the mirror it reflects back and you realise that you definitely only retweeted that girl because she was pretty, and not because you also fell over your dog that day.
[Scott Wilson – @HeartofFire]