When determining a language for love, we think to the Western Europeans. This refined and chivalrous structure has created a fog over the idea of romance. Romantic languages originating in Spain, France and Italy provide a framework for what we all chase in a partner. With our expectations skewed to a time hundreds of years ago, we look to modern techniques. Advertisement plugs for Match.com and eHarmony hit our eyes and ears multiple times a day, from the radio and TV to algorithms that track our online activity with sidebar advertising on nearly every website we visit. Is this today’s language of love?
“If you are prepared to hack the girl, be prepared for it to happen to you.” Atanas Boev has his Doctorate of Science in Technology, yet he is in the business of love in Love and Engineering. Unless you have been living in Siberia in the past 5 years, you know that technology has changed the dating world dramatically. Not far from the Russian wasteland sits Helsinki, Finland, where a group of five 20-something-programmers set out to find the literal code to create the perfect match in dating.
From powerpoint presentations and panel discussions to the tracking of electro-activity of the brain and eye, the film tracks almost all forms of interaction between a guy and girl. The club scene contrasting with the lab environment gives the film the depth that most documentaries need in their hypothesis. These men know processing and computing to a point that distracts from normal social queues and their language is detrimental to any one-on-one date. One subject leads off with a question about Mass Effect as an icebreaker. Yet in their naivety, there is a sentimental feeling surrounding the film and each character as they navigate the Scandinavian dating scene. Speed dating and blind dating is used as test points to calibrate the next move coordinated by Coach Boev.
Yet we end without the feeling that a publication is in order.
Boev asks if each test subject is ashamed of being an engineer. Should we be afraid of sharing who we really are instead of putting on a mask in order to find a true companion? One character notes that in his three years of working, he has felt relaxed, yet adding a two and a half month relationship to the mix has caused anxiety and a heavy feeling. The film centers on insuring oneself against the risk of the emotional rejection and frustrates the project in comparison to the fun memories that have been created.