Trying to spoof documentaries about sex and anonymous Internet sex sites, “The Love Machine” falls flat, unwisely using feature-length comedy format to mock what exists largely in shortform cable docu (HBO’s “Reel Sex”). Gordon Ericksen’s film might have been a cute short, but is painfully long at 83 minutes. It may have life in straight-to-video.
Story shows fictitious, Lee Grant–like documentarian Becca Campbell (Marlene Forte) following five unwitting New York residents selected via their Internet sex alter egos. She films them, then confronts them with their Web-site sex photos or indiscretions. That’s about it, plus an observation about the Internet tapping into the collective subconscious. Lone bright spot: Al Rodriguez plays Javier, lover of a closeted Japanese student. When interviewed about his supposed straight “roommate,” Javier plays along, too, eyebrows deftly raised — a spoof within the spoof, a real joke within a larger, and largely unsuccessful, attempt at humor. Tech credits are indie standard.