Many people say that sometimes you need to see how the other half lives. Others say, for every article you read that you agree with, read one you disagree with.
I previously knew nothing about the TWF NO GF subculture although I am familiar with incels and other terms found within the film. The film can be unstructured at times and feel like you’re jumping from Twitter feed to Twitter feed, but considering its subject matter, it kind of works.
I found the documentary fascinating. Many people will say TWF NO GF is a dangerous film because it gives a voice to people who arguably don’t deserve the spotlight. Several of these people probably said the same thing about Joker. I can understand that viewpoint, but it doesn’t apply here, just like it didn’t with Joker.
TFW NO GF’s subjects are young men who spend their time trolling the Internet, pissing off people just for the thrill of it. Often using profanity, racism, and misogyny to do it. Sometimes they don’t even agree with what they post. They’re the kind of people who want to get a reaction because they’re not getting any attention in their real lives from being themselves. So, they develop these overly toxic personas and use them on people to try to feel or be a part of something. It’s the only interaction they may have with a person all day. It’s both sad and infuriating to watch.
What prevents TWF NO GF from being dangerous is its refusal to give the subjects a platform to spout their ideals in a harmful way. Director Alex Lee Moyer maintains a distance from the subjects despite being heavily focused on them. This distance prevents the documentary from potentially becoming a propaganda piece. The documentary feels less like a showcase of their opinions and more of a closer look into the kind of people that are in the TWF NO GF subculture, what they think, and trying to figure out how they got to where they are. The ending alone is enough to show it’s not dangerous. Alex Lee Moyer isn’t trying to provoke anyone in the subculture or radicalize anyone into joining.
TWF NO GF gets overly preachy and optimistic at the end, which may feel sanctimonious, but is really what the film needs considering a great portion of the film’s audience will be incels and NEETs. The documentary shows there’s light at the end of the tunnel for these guys. Ultimately, that is exactly what guys within the TWF NO GF subculture need to hear. And they need to hear it from the guys who used to be just like them.