The Perfect Man (He's Not Real) | Modern Love | The New York Times

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The Perfect Man (He's Not Real) | Modern Love | The New York Times 4.5
While battling Alzheimer's disease, Deenie Hartzog-Mislock's grandmother invents a wild story and the family learns to love an imaginary man named Nick Stephanopoulos.

Produced by: Jimmy Simpson


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The Perfect Man (He's Not Real) | Modern Love | The New York Times

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💬 Comments on the video

Nice animation style, but just some critique: this was very oddly scripted and the narration isn't edited the best. I had trouble following along with the plot in a couple places; she talks about her aunt, but then significance is placed on the grandma, making me confused as to whether the focus of the story is on the aunt or the grandma in the beginning. She says her grandma has Alzheimer's and then goes back to talking about the aunt but the wording she used and the narrator's use of "her" made me confused as to which "her" she was talking about. I had to go back and rewatch that part to understand. And then the aunt visits the grandma and then the narrator says "she" and I'm sitting there trying to figure out which "she" is now talking—is the grandma looking grave and telling the story about Nick and the train guy, or is the aunt telling the story about Nick and the train guy, and the grandma's reaction is grave? By the time I figured that out, the story progressed and I'm hearing a new character name (the train conductor's name) and now I'm lost, and I had to watch that part a second time. The narrator is saying things I'm trying to focus on, while also focusing on the visuals which don't always seamlessly match with the narration, so instead of it aiding in my understanding, it's distracting me and causing me to not understand the narration even when she may be explaining it just fine. Like the part with "have you got a minute?"—that part wasn't significant to the overall story and if it was removed, it wouldn't affect the plot, therefore it should not have been included.
Then there's the part where the aunt says "ok ill bring that up with Nick" but then the narrator says "nick actually lived for 2 years"—as an audience, we were expecting to know what became of that confrontation but it's interrupted by stating a fact about Nick, and then about the grandma's health declining, and I'm confused about the connection because of the lack of a segway between any of these points!
Another thing is that things seem to be edited in the wrong order: "then one day my grandma says I'm sorry to hear about nick" —we just heard he lived for 2 years, so is she saying this after Nick died since she's saying condolences, but then immediately after she says the thing about him having only 3 months to live. If you wanted to get the idea across that Nick had some sort of condition where he had 3 months to live, say that first! And THEN say "actually, nick lived for 2 more years".

If this was supposed to entice me to read the rest of the article, it did not work; if the narration is from the story itself, then the story must be as poorly edited. If it isn't, this video should have been scripted and edited better to provide a more accurate opening synopsis to entice the audience to read more.

Author — nothingtoseehere


This kinda confused me I don't really understand how everyone fits into this or really the story at all

Author — Alex Criner


I'm confused. Did Nick exist? Was the aunt in on it?

Author — Hermione Wilson


little secret, the perfect woman is not real either

Author — oicub2


im crying over here what the hell nyt???

Author — A


Wouldnt it be funny if she was pranking them? Like seeing how far they would take it

Author — Laura Thomas


Nick Stephanopoulos is a PURE GREEK NAME

Author — Mike Sarantakos


The perfect man is real. He’s my fiancé.

Author — Alex Larson


Just like no burnham said lower expectations if you want love

Author — The Case Master


This is impressive. But the column in the NYT that this is based on is AMAZING.

Author — tokyorosa


aside from the fact it doesnt exist, who wants to be it?

Author — 54t4n5w0r5tn1ghtm4r3


I wonder if they wanted the audience to be confused like how the narrator was when this was all happening? Hearing about a man who doesn't exist and having to imagine he is there and that it was your aunt dating this non-existent guy must have been mind boggling. Yes the story was very very oddly played out but if it was made in such a way to make you feel as the narrator did they did a good job

Author — akira sargeant


Yes he is, dont settle for less ladies.

Author — hasan munir


Here’s my take: It’s about love of a mother who even as her Alzheimer’s progressed wanted to imagine her daughter (the aunt) happy with a caring lover. It’s also about the loving remembrance by the narrator and her aunt of the grandmother whose vibrant imagination was of one of they many things they cherished. Nick was just a fictitious conduit for that love.

Author — Seongjin Kwon


It’s kinda not believable because what I understand about Alzheimer’s is that it destroys imagination along with everything else and her grandma had it for 7 years previous to this. Cute story but I think it’s BS

Author — elsa Grace