Announcer: Are you tired of the singles scene? Are you tired of the committed relationships scene? Do you yearn for the kind of romance that seems to exist only on film and is over before the end credits roll? Well, you’re going to have to keep on yearning because we already selected our final contestants. In the meantime, continue with your voyeuristic and vicarious viewing with our new show:
[Title appears: Looking For Love – In A Movie]
(Montage of adults ages 21-34 being interviewed)
Announcer (Voiceover): We searched high and low for the perfect couple who would most appreciate the opportunity to experience thrilling adventure, meaningful life lessons, and steamy one-shot hookups in an average tropical paradise. Failing that, we settled for the two hottest straight people with similar opinions we could find.
(Shot of a woman facing the camera: the caption at the bottom of the screen reads “Sofia, Age 28, Paralegal/Amateur Thrill-Seeker”)
Sofia: What I’m looking for in a movie-style romance is a guy who’s impossibly handsome yet improbably kind, but not a pushover, know-what-I-mean? Good to his family, and has friends who aren’t, you know, boors.
Announcer (V.O.): Bores?
Sofia: Boooors. You know: animals.
Announcer (V.O.): I see.
(Shot of a man facing the camera: the caption at the bottom of the screen reads “Dafydd, Age 28, Construction Worker/Amateur Thrill-Seeker”)
Dafydd: What I’m looking for in a movie-style romance is a girl who lets me be who I need to be. I want adventure, lots and lots of adventure, so when that’s happening she can’t be all clingy; on the flip side, she also can’t be more competent than I am. None of this “I need her to save my life figuratively AND literally” nonsense: the only lives she should be saving are those of an extremely close friend or a first-degree relative. Also, please, I don’t want anyone who’s a screamer; no whiners, constant complainers, criers –
Sofia: He should be strong, but not so strong that I’m afraid for my life when we’re hugging. And he should be sensitive to the point that he respects other people’s feelings and he can cry, but not to where he’s bawling over anyone who isn’t his best friend or a parent. Yeah, I’d like a few tears.
Dafydd: – hags, nags, shrills, shrews –
Sofia: Absolutely ready to sacrifice his life for me or, you know, a worthy cause: nobility is such a turn-on.
Dafydd: – Mummy issues, Daddy issues, social anxiety issues, body image issues – listen ladies, I can’t speak for my fellow hetero men, but I can assure you that whatever flaws you say you have mean nothing once the clothes come off. Neanderthal, perhaps, yet ironically progressive.
Sofia: I think I mentioned this already: he has to be drop-dead gorgeous. If he knows he is, though, that’s a deal-breaker.
Dafydd: Bottom line: no b----es. Can I say “b----” on this?
Announcer (V.O.): No.
Dafydd: Oh. (Smiles with an “aha” moment) No witches. Seriously, I mean it: no actual practicing witches.
Announcer (V.O.): Why not?
Dafydd: They have more power than I do.
Sofia: Basically, he can’t be a d---. Can I say “d---” on this?
Announcer (V.O.): No.
Sofia: Hm. How about “jerk?”
Announcer (V.O.): Sure.
Sofia: (Mulls this over) Doesn’t have the same effect.
(Cut to an average tropical paradise)
Announcer: (Standing in front of the ocean) Without formal introductions, we delivered our movie romance couple onto this beach to set the mood. (Camera pans over to a plane engulfed in flames – the flight crew members battle the fires as our heroes run away from the wreckage. Dafydd eventually carries Sofia into the jungle and drops her off by a stream)
Sofia: I was all right, but thanks anyway!
Dafydd: Can’t talk – must go save the others! (He starts to run back to the plane, but he sees that the fires have been extinguished and everyone is taking a lunch break) Oh. (He turns back to Sofia) It’s too late for the rest of them – I can’t face it again – it brings back such horrible memories of all those coal mine fires in my hometown in Wales.
Sofia: Oh my. Are you a coal miner?
Dafydd: Would you like me to be?
Sofia: I’m just asking if you are or not.
Dafydd: Don’t get all judgemental on me! You’re such a princess; I bet you’ve never done real work a day in your life!
Sofia: Wait, are we doing the “Hate/Lust at First Sight” angle? I thought we were doing the “Bonding Over Shared Peril” one.
Dafydd: Those are just two sides of the same coin to me.
(Announcer jogs onto the scene)
Announcer: Right, sorry Sofia, we gave you the wrong set of notes: you’re doing the “Hate/Lust at First Sight” storyline; it seemed to fit your personalities better and audiences supposedly love it.
Sofia: Oh, OK, just so we’re all on the same page.
Announcer: Great! (She gives them two thumbs-up and jogs off-screen)
Sofia: All right then. (She turns back to Dafydd) Listen punk, I don’t care how much trauma you claim you’ve suffered or how hot you are: no one speaks to me like that, no one! I’ve faced legal briefs more intimidating than you!
Dafydd: Ugh, you’re a lawyer?
Sofia: Heck no, I’m a paralegal.
Dafydd: Potato, potahto.
Sofia: You still never answered my question: are you a coal miner?
Dafydd: No! I’m a construction worker.
Dafydd: Knew it! Such a princess!
Sofia: That was a non-committal “Oh!” You’re such a meathead!
Dafydd: Am not! I work hard to take care of my family and I bury my feelings every day so they won’t overwhelm me! You’re a parasitic snob!
Sofia: Am not! I help represent the poorest of the poor and I can’t sleep at night with all the injustice in the world!
(They pause, gasping for breath)
Dafydd: Wanna make out?
Sofia: Yep. (They make out)
(Cut to Announcer holding a cocktail while strolling along the beach in the moonlight)
Announcer: Well, things certainly have progressed rapidly. We had a whole obstacle course for one of them to save the other from molten lava and venomous snakes, all while fighting their conflicted feelings – and each other – but now that all seems rather pointless. (The camera pans over to the couple snuggling in beach chairs by the water) Excuse me! (They turn to her) So how’s everything?
Dafydd: Couldn’t be better.
Sofia: I’ve never been happier in my entire life.
Announcer: We have another week and a half booked here, so I’d like to go over the itinerary with you –
Sofia: Sure thing, but just to clarify, he and I never have to see each other ever again after the show’s over, right?
Announcer: Well no, that’s sort of the whole point, unless you want to –
Dafydd and Sofia: No-no-no-no-
Dafydd: This is perfect: exciting romance with none of the dangers involved in a one-night stand or the years of mutual resentment in every other long-term relationship on this planet.
Sofia: It’s a dream come true! And I’ll treasure it always because it’ll be over forever really soon!
Announcer: (To camera) I think this worked out a little too well. (Checks alert on phone) Oh, look at that: a class-action lawsuit has just been filed against the network by every business involved in the dating and wedding industries. (Back to the camera) Thank you for joining us in our first and only season. Until my next show, keep watching movies and living in a dream world: it’s the only way to endure.