Okay so I watched Mail Order Wife on Hulu. Talk about getting punked! A schmuck from Queens has a documentarian order a bride for him from Asia. She meets the guy, and there is absolutely no chemistry between him and her at all. He has these hang ups about women, about how they always lie. As soon as she gets into New York City he has her cooking and cleaning, and then he punishes her by filming these movies of him denigrating her in what he calls “the dungeon” which is really his basement.
The premise is that the documentarian is paying for the guy to order to bride in order that he can film the experience. But in one sick, demented, turn after another he denigrates the woman. He wants to force her to get her tubes tied. He feels that he is doing her a favor because “there is no malaria in Queens” and he is giving her a better life. Everything is going as planned until she decides to provide a video tape of their sordid affair to the documentarian.
His first instinct is to save her. So he moves her into his apartment and tries to hook her up with a restaurateur that can help her to find a job so that she does not have to leave the country. Her cooking skills are not that great though, so she learns how to cook what is on the menu. Everything is going okay and the documentarian decides to throw a dinner party where she can show off her cooking skills. But then during the party she flips out talking about “no dessert”.
We then find out that the documentarian was sleeping with the mail order bride! So the next chapter of the film shows him breaking up with his girlfriend and pursuing this woman! She continues to make these sordid sadomasochistic films with her husband, but then spending time with the documentarian while her husband is away at work. Everything is okay until he marries the woman and she spends all of her allowance on clay pigs.
He tries to confront her about it but she flips out again talking about the fact that she wants to have a baby, and that he is a loser and less of a man because he does not want kids right away. So she leaves him and takes his camera with her. The final chapter of the film starts and has him hooking up with the man whom he paid to marry her to plot revenge against her. They decide to get the camera man’s father in on the act who is elderly and senile. The first man saw an ad for his wife under a different name (she had moved back into her former country), so he figured they could lure her back over to the States.
Even Jose Conseco was in on the act (you guys are truly sick and twisted)! Supposedly Jose Conseco had this yacht that the old man was supposed to use to show off how much money he had. So they get to the airport and lure the woman, whoever she is, and the old man ends up in a hotel sleeping with the woman and cheating on his wife! The movie concludes with the documentarian and the woman’s first husband enjoying a nice beer while they reminisce about meeting Jose Conseco.
The entire “documentary” had this dark, low rent tone to it that made your stomach turn. I couldn’t get over the fact that this schmuck was treating this woman this way, and that the documentarian would pay for the entire thing or even that the documentarian ended up sleeping with her. But at the same time, there were parts of the film that were entirely too good to be true that should have tipped me off to the fact that it was fake. In one scene the man runs past a van that the documentarian was supposedly hiding out in. Also, the fact that the movie was released, but supposedly the man either did not know about it or never retaliated against the man for continuing to release it and hooking up with his wife felt rather odd. If it were me, I would definitely pursue the documentarian in court for releasing that film. The whole thing had this deep, dark, unconscionable feel to it, and I started to hate the documentarian as much as I did the schmuck that married her in the first place.
Is the truth about mail order brides really as ugly as this film suggests? The women are simply there to get out of the country, and are okay with being a slave or going through any measure of abuse just to live in America? Is the average mail order bride as psychotic as this woman was? The film upsets you, makes you think, pisses you off because you realize that it was fake, but then makes you think again. I will never look at mail order brides the same (then again, I wasn’t really looking at mail order brides to begin with) …