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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Men who pay thousands of dollars to find wives in Thailand and Ukraine seem to be looking for housekeepers who will also provide sex.
Positive Role Models
Three men who can't find wives in the United Kingdom pay online services to connect them with women who want to move to the UK and financially improve their lives. In some cases the families of the women demand money of the men. One woman actively trying to close the deal with an English suitor is pregnant with another foreign man's child. The men, some of whom spend their last penny to travel to the women, seem oblivious to the fact that the women are looking for financial stability at least as much as love.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Although cautioned not to have sex right after the first meeting, a British man sleeps with the first Ukrainian woman he meets through his online marriage website. Then he decides to keep looking. A Thai woman looking for a British husband fails to communicate that she is pregnant with another foreign suitor's child.
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Products & Purchases
The movie is about consumerism. Wives, and the cleaning they do and sexual favors they offer, are the products.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink alcohol.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that My Online Bride is a 2014 British television short documentary that follows three British men in a supposed quest for "love." They each seem to believe their prospects for romance will improve if they give approximately $4,000 to online matching agencies specializing in Ukrainian and Thai brides. It's reasonable to conclude that the women all want to move to the United Kingdom in order to improve their lives economically. The men, all working class, seem to be looking for sex-toy housekeepers. One man visits a Ukrainian prospect and, against the agency's recommendations, has sex with her the day he meets her. A Thai woman looking for a British husband fails to communicate that she is pregnant with another foreign suitor's child. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This documentary illustrates a disturbing social phenomenon and as such might prompt interesting discussions about the monetization of marriage. Some might argue that marriage has always been an institution wholly dictated by financial considerations. But, as the perky narrator asks: "Can you put a price on love?" Apparently, the answer is yes. One agency employee in charge of introducing men to lots of women promises that under his guidance they will "meet more beauties in seven days than you'd meet in a lifetime." He also promises that for Thai women, "the culture is to take care of the man." What's really disturbing about My Online Bride is that at first glance it seems the director takes no position, pro or con, on the practice presented in this slice-of-life look at three British guys looking for "love." But the film neglects to examine the way this lucrative industry implicitly exploits women, how its existence is based on Third World poverty and yearnings for upward mobility, and how it could not thrive without a dependence on oppressive male attitudes toward the role of women in society. By withholding the negatives, the filmmaker in effect endorses the practice.
Either out of professional laziness or bias, the documentary fails to even wonder -- never mind research -- what motivates women to uproot themselves from family, language, country, and sometimes children just to marry a near stranger from halfway around the world. The fact that the men live where the standard of living is high -- the United Kingdom -- might have something to do with it. (Many people around the world mistakenly believe that all British and Americans are wealthy.) Also, while we know that true love is based on less superficial stuff, it can't be ignored that in this film the men are not good-looking, rich, nor particularly sharp. The movie notes that 20 percent of the Thai people survive on less than a British pound per day. What exactly do these guys think these economically disadvantaged women are looking for?
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.