The image above is a still from a film called Wrong Swipe. The women are sisters. Anna (Anna Hutchison, who may be best known for playing doomed Jules in The Cabin In The Woods) is an uptight law school student who spends way too much time studying. Her sister, Sasha (Karissa Lee Staples), decides that Anna desperately needs to get laid so she goads her into downloading the Swipe app.
Well, for one thing, it’s an app with a really bad name. But, beyond that, it’s kinda like Match.com for people who specifically want to run the risk of being stalked by a psycho. If a user finds a profile that she likes, she “swipes” the profile. The app uses the phone’s GPS to send you an alert whenever someone who you’ve swiped is nearby.
“Your crush is 100 feet away…”
So, Anna joins Swipe. In order to make sure that her sister understand how it all works, Sasha decides to swipe some random guy’s profile. That random guy just happens to be Todd (Blake Berris), the creepy guy who sits behind Anna in her criminal justice class. Now, Todd thinks that Anna has a crush on him.
“You swiped me!” Todd says, at one point.
Anna goes on a few other Swipe dates. She reconnects with a guy she vaguely knew in high school, Nate (Kevin Joy) but it turns out that Nate is kind of a jerk and plus, he attempts to drug her drink during their date. Uh-oh, Nate’s not a good guy!
Then Anna meets Pete (Philipp Karner). Pete is sweet and sensitive and handsome. Anna and he have an immediate connection and, as you watch them together, you just know that they’re eventually going to end up in a commercial for Swipe.com. Anna and Pete will be sitting in front of a fireplace. Anna will say, “I joined Swipe.com and two days later, look what I found.” And then Pete will say…
Well, actually, Pete won’t say anything. Pete ends up getting murdered. Sorry, Anna. Could Pete’s murder be somehow connected to the anonymous threatening messages that Anna has been getting ever since she joined Swipe?
In case you hadn’t already guessed, Wrong Swipe is a Lifetime film. It aired on February 13th, just in time for Valentine’s Day. There are a few things that you can always be sure about when it comes to Lifetime films. You can always be sure that men will be untrustworthy, mom will always be right, and the bonds of sisterhood will never be broken. You can also always be sure that using any sort of technology will lead to grave misfortune. I’ve lost track of how many Lifetime films I’ve seen about terrible things happening as a result of someone spending too much time online.
(It’s kinda like that film Disconnect, except more fun and less preachy.)
With Wrong Swipe, Lifetime exposes the dangers of online dating for the hundredth time. At this point, Lifetime has gone from being Television For Women to being the “You Kids And Your Goddamn Gadgets!” Network. That said, there’s a certain charm to how predictable it all is. Lifetime is all about the melodrama and Wrong Swipe has plenty of that. It may be familiar but it’s comfortable at the same time.
Wrong Swipe was probably at its best when it dealt with the bond between Anna and Sasha. Their relationship reminded me of my relationship with my sisters. At the same time, it was hard not to wonder how Anna could possibly have randomly met so many weird men in such a short amount of time. One of them, of course, had to be weird because he was the psycho who was stalking her. But the others were just red herrings who all happened to act like psychos even if they weren’t the psycho. In fact, all of the men were so over-the-top in their suspicious behavior that it actually made it easy to figure out who the stalker was because he was the only suspect who wasn’t totally and completely obvious.
One final note: Wrong Swipe is unique for actually showing Anna doing a Google search. Usually, Lifetime films will come up with a fake search engine for its characters to use but Wrong Swipe went ahead and just used google. That said, Anna was not using quotation marks when she typed in her search terms so it probably took her far longer than necessary to find what she was looking for.
As for whether or not you should make it a point to see Wrong Swipe the next time it comes on TV … eh. It’s nothing special but if you enjoy Lifetime films, it’s okay.