A fascinating study of a man with an addiction that is probably very widespread - sexting. It's an addiction we're not quite used to, because it contains no ACTUAL sex - but it is one that with the advent of technology no doubt taps into the reward centers of the brain virtually as effectively - as do drugs, alcohol, and gambling. Additionally, it leaves behind one heck of a digital trail, making it incredibly easy for the addicted party to be exposed, literally. The documentary follows Weiner's trajectory from rising political star married to a beautiful woman who walks the corridors of high power to a man to a man who has nothing - not even the 'loyalty' of those he was exchanging sexts with. Given the recent turn of events, where Weiner actually included his young son in one of his sexts, you can see how little impulse control and rational judgment he has - also illustrated in his frequent and often unnecessary outbursts. If the documentary did anything for me personally, it was illuminate the heavy burden he shoulders his wife Huma with - here is a woman who desperately wants to support her husband in his ambitions but who is continually placed in the excruciating position of having to choose between her husband and her own dignity and career. Huma's big, sad, disappointed brown eyes as she struggles with the horrible load he has placed on her is what I'll remember most from this compelling documentary. No woman should ever have to be put in the position of running desperately away from her husband's 23-year-old porn star sext partner while cameras capture every shadow of agony wavering on her face. Why this movie is being classified by Amazon as a comedy is beyond me - it's a tragedy.
This might be one of the best documentaries I've ever seen. Not because of the unique filming or the question of even really the topic, but because of the depth of access allowed by the participants. You sort of expected the campaign to shut down or rescind filming rights at some point, but that never happens. They just get to keep filming day after day right up until the end.
The interplay between Anthony Weiner's drive and political savvy and sharp wit against his personal moral failings and denial works so well. You always find yourself asking if this is the thing that is going to sink him or if he is going to fight his way back to the top.
It's hard to fathom why Anthony Weiner would have agreed to participate with this documentary. More than anyone else, he knew what he did. He knew how it was perceived, and best of all, he knew that he KEPT ON DOING IT even after getting caught! That he consented to this documentary shows that his narcissism must be matched only by his hubris. What would ;make him think after all he had already gone through, and everything he had put his wife and family through, that he wouldn't get caught again? Many people wonder why this is a story that needed to be told, and maybe it didn't, but due to his wife's connection to Hillary Clinton, and the inevitability of her presidential campaign, it was a story that was bound to be told.
As a piece of documentary filmmaking, this is very good. The bulk of the film follows Weiner's failed run for Mayor of New York City in 2013. It gives a frank, unobtrusive look at his campaign, and the man himself, as he tries to reinvent himself and rise like a phoenix, but winds up in yet another trainwreck of his own making. As you watch, especially as his mayoral campaign unravels under the weight of new revelations of his sexting and phone sex behaviors, you find yourself wondering just what could he have been thinking, particularly when you witness the look on his wife's face after the news hits, and again each time when he pleads with her to make public appearances to help his campaign. To say that it's cringeworthy doesn't begin to cut it.
I thought this would be a fun look at the sexting scandal, but it was actually fascinating. I had never heard of Anthony Weiner until the scandal so I was surprised to find out that he is actually a rather nice guy who actually cares about his constituents. Shortly into the movie, I was hoping for a big come back. He was fighting for the middle class and equality. For heaven's sake, he looked like he was having a great time at a Pride parade which is the last place you expect to see a politician. But then the next wave of controversy crashed into his campaign. Sadly, it wasn't a different scandal. It was still during the time that he was sending pictures of his Oscar Myer to random people. The bigger issue is that he got so upset about the media coverage of it and rightly so. He was trying to improve the city and the welfare of the public but no one would let him speak of anything but his affairs. Where he lost me was when he let his frustration get the best of him and started yelling at random hecklers. I understand the frustration, but one must act like an adult and ignore silly comments. I had a Tyra Banks moment when I started crying to the TV "We were all rooting for you. How dare you!" I don't think we have seen the last of Anthony Weiner. However, I really hope he can keep his Oscar Myer in line long enough to be elected.
I'm a conservative....so obviously my political views don't align with those of Anthony Weiner....but I must confess, I LOVED watching this documentary! It doesn't matter if you sit on the right or the left, this movie is for anyone with an interest in politics as it shows what candidates deal with during a campaign.