Asperger's syndrome can make dating a challenge, but loneliness proves more a debilitating hurdle in this new film
|David Matthews in "Aspie Seeks Love"|
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. At its heart, “Aspie Seeks Love” is a parable about loneliness — a condition which afflicts everyone at some point in their lives and for far too many proves incurable.
That’s the fate David B. Matthews, the titular Aspie, spends the bulk of the film trying to avoid. A Pennsylvania writer and artist who wasn’t diagnosed with AS until he was 41, Matthews possesses all of the tell-tale signs of high-functioning autism — remarkable intelligence, social awkwardness, a wealth of personality tics and other idiosyncrasies. 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. MORE >