by • September 17, 2010 • NewsComments (342)11070

CATFISH: Real or Fake? It’s a fake…sort of.

Last night I got a chance to watch CATFISH which is being marketed as a cautionary documentary that explores the world of online relationships, or at least a couple of online relationships that one guy has.

Throughout the entire film it all felt fake to me, but after the movie was over and talking with my other film critic friends they were all baffled how I could think it was fake. That got me to thinking…”maybe it is real?!” but then logic sat in and I realized that all of this is based on the internet, so I will just do the research myself.


Now, let me stress to you that I don’t think the entire film is fake, there are elements in the film that are legit but for the most part the majority of the film doesn’t add up and most of the film was re-enacted/re-created.

I am putting a strict warning here, if you read anything below this it will spoil the movie for you. There is no way around that, so my advice…go see the movie then come back here to read this.

Everything is on camera. As a documentary film maker myself, the perils of getting everything on camera will drive you insane. In CATFISH, absolutely anything that holds any weight in the movie is on camera somehow. So for running a production company and making another film as the same time as CATFISH they still had time to film Nev almost completely non stop and at all the perfect moments. So this is either extremely lucky, or really staged.

The timing of when they actually started filming is a little weird to me as well. At what point would any filmmaker say “oh you know what, my brother got some paintings of his portraits from an 8 year old, that are mediocre at best, perhaps we should start documenting this”? There doesn’t seem to be any real reason why they would just start filming him non stop. They claim it’s because he is very cinematic and they always film him, but at the beginning of the film he states that he doesn’t want to be filmed, he doesn’t want to be the center of this documentary.

Their Blog: When I was reading up on their production company’s blog, I went through every entry back to the beginning of the site. In the film they start learning of the lies from Megan and Angela while they are in Vail Colorado shooting video for the Vail International Dance Festival. While on the plane they meet a young girl:

and give us this description of her:

That sounds remarkably similar to the Megan, the girl that Nev falls in love with in CATFISH. She is a model who has recently purchased a horse farm from a small town. Coincidence?

They also document every trip they take on this blog, as well as production on their films. However there is absolutely no mention of ever going to Michigan in the August or September blog posts. In fact there is never a mention about even shooting scenes for the film that eventually becomes CATFISH. There is a gigantic gap in posts from the middle of August to the middle of September.

Photo of Megan and Vince: After seeing the movie we know that Angela, the mother of Abby, was the culprit behind all of it. She used photos from someone she found online and posted them to a fake facebook account for Megan. The photos we see of Megan and her Dad Vince didn’t actually go online until March 28th 2008. In the film we see the photos at the beginning of the film, which is supposed to be late 2007.

Also, who in their right mind would actually believe the guy next to her was her Dad?! That is insanity that these guys could honestly be so easily duped.

Link to the mp3 of the song downhill: In the movie, after they are in Vail which we know we at the beginning of August, Nev is having a chat with Megan. In the chat she sends him a link to an mp3 of a song she supposedly recorded. I found the chat transcript on the CATFISH website:

So I decided to check out and as of February 2008 it has been nothing but a landing page. See below:

So it is obvious that this chat transcript is completely fake. In the film this would have taken place in August/September of 2008.

The Plot: The story seems to follow the big plot twist of MY KID COULD PAINT THAT, where the dad faces accusations that he is painting the portraits for his daughter. In CATFISH, Angela, the mother, is actually painting the photos for Abby.

Angela: After Nev confronts Angela with the truth, she does nothing more than put her head down. She never freaks out. She never asks them to stop filming. Instead she accepts that she is caught in a HUGE lie, on camera that could completely ruin her marriage and everything she has, and continues to let them film without any questions asked? This is insanity to me! Her husband had absolutely no idea what was going on behind the scenes, its almost as if she wants her marriage to end and her husband to find out she is insane…or its fake.

Abby; The original subject of the “Documentary”: At the beginning of the film Nev tells us that Abby is the focus of the documentary, most likely because she is 8, and her mom is telling them that she is a local celebrity and all of her paintings are being sold around town. So they decide, at some point, that they should focus in on Abby and her paintings of Nev’s photographs.

So, a professional production team at no point goes to google in order to do some research on the new subject of their documentary? They seem pretty tech savvy with their iPhones and mini HD cameras. Why wouldn’t they try and get just a little bit of information just for the overall success of what they set out to shoot?

The only thing we re-created were the close-ups on the computer screen: This is the part of their explanation for the film that is super vague. What exactly are they considering “close-ups”? Is it only the parts where you only see the pages up close? Is it the scenes where you see mostly the computer and a little bit of Nev? And what exactly do they mean by re-created? At the end of the film they tell us that Angela deleted all of the profiles. Did they go back in and recreate all of the profiles? Did they use the same photos from before? At this point had they asked permission from the real “Megan” to use all of her photos in the film?

The real Megan: The girl that we know as Megan in the movie, is actually not named Megan at all. Her name is Aimee Gonzales (which we find out about in the movie). She is a model and photographer. Reading through her wall posts, it seems as though she frequently photographs dancers, just as Nev does, and is currently in New York as I type this. It seems that its a bit too much of a coincidence that they are both photographers, both shoot dancers and she is also doing it in the same city that Nev typically does his in. How is it that they haven’t run across each others path? Unlikely.

All of the above information doesn’t prove that the film is entirely fake. What it does prove is that much of the film has been recreated, and its possible that they did it in such a way to create a story where there might not have been one to begin with.

You be the judge.

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  • Ashley

    Your evidence about the dates are incorrect. The film starts in 2008, not 2007. They said that Nev started talking to Abby in 2007, but the first few scenes establish the date: 2008.

  • Matty

    I will admit that I finished this movie believing it was real. I've heard a lot of arguments against that now, nothing convinces me that it's faked or staged, but it certainly could have been and I have no attachment to either position so far as argumentation goes. It's not as though the movie was about an alien invasion, or a guy with supernatural powers – something that we'd really care to verify. This movie is about a fake internet relationship, and who could deny they exist even in this extreme. There's nothing here worthy of the controversy.

    But the reason I am annoyed by the naysayers is this idea that fiction should never pose as documentary. Where were you when Spinal Tap came out? If I had the inclination, I would take you all the way back to the dawn of the novel, when writers were inserting bits and pieces of fact into their narratives to make people think it might be real. Was Robinson Crusoe a real guy? We are interested in verifying elements of stories that move us and it annoys us to find that a writer has taken license with a subject of reality, imagine my outrage to find that "Gladiator" completely misrepresented the life of Maximus. I am laughing.

    So, all in all, as always when I come across situations like this, I actually find myself hoping that it's all false – because in that case it was a true masterpiece, and not just a well done little hand-held documentary.

    • E

      Just a very interesting movie, real or fake doesn’t change that point for me.

      Much of the controversy stems from that the marketing of the movie focuses on the message of “Just the truth”. This alone I think is basis enough to be critical,and it’s an interesting angle to follow up on. Especially in connection to what I imagine is on many viewers mind at times: Come on, why didn’t they do any/better research!?

      Spinal Tap is a mockumentary, and there is a point to treat that as a separate category from fake documentary (e.g. I’m Still Here).

      Don’t think anyone is arguing the point that the divide fact/fiction is an absolute. Puting that view up as a conflicting idea, and then argue against it seems like killing a horse to have a chance at beating it with a stick.

      • E

        Edit: “Just true”

    • Irene

      “So, all in all, as always when I come across situations like this, I actually find myself hoping that it’s all false – because in that case it was a true masterpiece, and not just a well done little hand-held documentary.” – 100% agree!

  • harvey

    It felt fake to me almost form the very start of the film, its pretty clear.

    It wasn't even that good, i certainly was not disturbed, shocked or scared by it at all, you'd have to be a complete moron to even engage in an internet relationship of any kind so it was not scary.

  • michelle

    true or false, i dont really care but i am showing it to my high school students as a warning about the lack of privacy on the internet. two girls at my school sent private photos of themselves to their “boyfriends” who promtly sent them out to EVERYONE! they were humiliated.

  • Monique seil

    I watched this movie because I was advised to after I was abused by new Zealand very own facebook predator 4 years ago she has done the exact same thing to not one male or female but at least over 500. No idea if it’s real or fake (the movie) but so similar to her. Google her, Natalia burgess. Her name has been released to the public. She also stole my friends pictures and stalked her for 7 years. She would send all the boys she chatted to online to my friends work them believing they were meeting the love of their lives. Anyway
    movie is super realistic and screwed up!

  • Frank

    The movie has to be a fake. The film's legal department wouldn't let the filmmakers document a Federal crime on a film, i.e. take mail out of a mailbox that doesn't belong to you. The USPS is crazy and the Fed Government will get you, the mob, your momma, everybody.

  • Richard

    I really enjoyed the movie. I had a similar encounter with a person doing something like this. I communicated with this girl for years with other people I knew online. She built up this whole persona where she had a daughter and so on.
    Then one of my real life friends got involved and talked to her. He ended up meeting her and dating her. She was a fat blonde girl, not hideous or anything, but of course all the pics she posted were a smokin' hot blonde chick.
    Anyway it all became clear she never had a daughter but had been posting pics of her with a friend's kid and created this fake online life. Even had fake friends and family like Angela did in this movie.
    However my friend didn't mind I guess and is still with this chick. She forbid him from talking to me or anyone else after we all figured out she was crazy and a fraud. He moved away to live with her. Which makes it all even crazier.
    I found out from his sister that they are married and have 2 kids, but they're really secretive and hardly have any contact with his family.
    So this chick is very good at what she does since she has somehow took her fake internet life and worked it into real life and made my former friend but into it all and disconnect from everyone.
    Very confusing, but it reminded me greatly of this movie. Only I never met her and I don't think she's as nice a person as Angela ended up

    • Zed Mezcalhead

      That is a pretty harsh existence your friend has there. I wonder what in his head said, ‘Hey! d = r x t!! I’m gonna go right ahead and shack up with this chick, who lied about her whole life on facebook and to my good friend. She’s a darn swell gal! Consequently, I’m prohibited from all my friends and family, but I’m hoping to get past that real soon… maybe I’ll send ‘em a postcard come Crhistmas-‘
      Yea, it could’ve been much worse for those guys.

  • @ColorBakery

    I really don't care if the movie Catfish is "fake." It made me smile, it made me cry, it left me with a lump in my throat. I forgot who and where I was for ninety minutes. It moved me, it made me care, it made me feel alive, connected, human. If people want to play sleuth and prove fakery, that is their right. Isn't it better to enjoy the beauty of gossamer wings rather than take them apart to analyze them? A good movie transports us, transforms us, takes us to another place. And if that is what a movie was supposed to do, it succeeded quite admirably. I loved it.

    • Big_AL_Darwin_AUS

      Best comment on here. Just enjoy the movie. If you like it you like it, if not no problem.

    • LittleBigSweden

      You know what?
      A thief think’s everyone steals!

    • Sanescience

      This is a common attitude regarding movies that are open about it being a work of fiction.

      But for a “documentary”, it is not appropriate. It is important that honesty is promoted and respected in society. With out it were all prisoners of suspicion or puppets of liars.

    • jill

      I just finished watching CATFISH. I had the same feelings watching this movie. In the car scene as they are driving to the horse farm, I felt as if I was in the car with them…my heart was beating so hard… If is fake…I don’t care, it is a great movie. I just stumbled on it searching VOD on cable. I wanted to tell everyone I know about it!

  • james

    don't let the truth get in the way of a good story

  • bboys

    An online survey asking people if they think it is real or fake, along with some reasons why it is fake and why it is real. (Fake is winning at the moment)

    • Carson

      All that speaks to is the level of cynicism in today’s modern world. There is also a propensity to hate and to be hateful, one evidenced by many of the comments here. It appears that culture has changed from people wanting to believe to people wanting to disbelieve. Look at all the myths, fables, and stories of strange creatures that people only 50-100 years ago fully believed in. Today, people are much more cynical and more hostile. No doubt Joseph Campbell could tell us more about how both myths and myth-believing have died. I am not saying that Catfish IS a myth. I am more commenting on the cynical examinations that rain down on Catfish the same if it is real as if it is fake. There is a LOT in Catfish suggesting it is real and there is comparatively little solid evidence proving that it is fake. The burden of proof here is really on the skeptics in that the filmmakers claiming it to be true have already offered up a mountain of material making their case. While the skeptics have little more than theory and isolated technicalities which are, thus far, not enough to end the debate. When you no longer see “Is Catfish real or fake? being debated, that is when the skeptics will have made their case.

  • Ms Curious

    Mmmmm…I'm not seeing anything new or anything worth reading! Research people to support your vague assertations.

    Ms Curious

  • Scott

    It is a Federal crime to tamper with a mailbox, REMOVE mail from a mailbox, or even place any article or object in a mailbox. So, what did Nev say to the U.S. Postal Inspector after the film was released…?! Those of us that live in isolated rural locations (myself in WI) know and respect the seriousness of tresspassing laws, including mailboxes. If this really happened, what was Nev's alibi to the sheriff?

  • Catty Gramma Teri

    I’ve looked into the details of this movie and read interviews and opinions galore. My conclusion. This really happened. Angela did create several online profiles and deceived Nev. I doubt that Nev et al even started to doument the story until they became seriously convinced of the deception. But they did an effective and creative job of recreating the story for us in the form of a documentary.

    • Kris

      Good conclusion. Recreated is not such a bad thing. The story is mostly true and it shows how being kind in the face of a deception eventually brought about a good outcome.

  • Nick Brobst

    Whether the film is fake or not doesn't change the fact that there are fakes on facebook, myspace, etc. and that things like this happen. The film simply shows an example (whether its a good one or a bad one in your opinion) of this. THAT is what any viewer should take away from it.
    Social networks are a breeding ground for liars, whether we like it or not.

  • moviegeek

    Debating whether this documentary is real or fake might be fun to some degree, but in the end it's pretty pointless, as the film works either way.

    It is a good story, cleverly told, thought-provoking and intelligent. And it actually stays with you long after the credits have finished rolling.

    Check out my FULL (Spoiler-FREE) review

  • jessica

    I randomly discovered this movie when searching for something on walmart's website. I think whether or not this is real is kind of important. How would you like to fall in love with someone, even if online/ on the phone and end up discovering that they actually do not exist? This could have been a case of a sexual preditor creating a false person to lure someone in, and harm them. In a way, I think (if it is real)- what sort of nut job wants to create a fake person that another would/ could fall in love with like this?

    • Zed Mezcalhead

      I saw something like this on Dr. Phil yesterday. It did not end well.

  • Thracymuchus

    You may have seen the Matrix and thought WOW, exciting, creepy, frightening, philosophically challenging but THAT will never happen in real life.

    Think again.

    Have you seen Catfish?

    Forget for a moment the question of whether it’s a real documentary or not (that’s another story) and think about the setup in both films.

    The Matrix proposes two worlds: The real and the virtual, so does Catfish

    The Matrix Neo initially believes in the world presented machines, as Nev does does on Facebook in Catfish

    In The Matrix Neo takes the Red pill to find out what’s really going on. Same in Catfish when Nev decides to follow the story through to the end when he realized he’s been hoaxed

    In the Matrix Neo discovers the real world is not as pleasant than the virtual one, just like Nev in Catfish

    Finally Neo confronts the Architect in the Matrix and realizes that life is more complicated than he thought, just like Nev after he confronts Angela.

    Angela turned out not to be a malicious person (real or not) but Facebook really does allow the creation of other realities. You could be in one right now!

    Facebook: Welcome to the desert of the real.

  • Nathan

    I’m watching this film in the UK now (first ever showing), and it’s 1 hour in. Even from the trailer ad shown a few days before, I sensed it was fake. No where ever does it state that the events are real or based on a true story for a start.
    They are career-focused, busy, young American men yet have the time to disregard family, friends, work, social and private interests to record this documentary day in day out?
    I’m sure parts of the film had to be re-enacted to ensure it is watchable and understandable so I have no problem with that, but to try and pass it off as completely genuine, as it happened footage is my beef with it.
    And it’s not even that good or interesting.

  • Stefan

    Whether it was “real” or not, I think it was a thought-provoking film. I felt that Angela provided the emotional depth that seemed lacking in the film-makers themselves. Her family, and her life, with all its flaws seemed genuine, while the film-makers came across as superficial, air-brushed technology junkies, although this was softened to a degree later in the film with an apparent sensitivity to Angela’s situation. Have to say I suspect it’s heavy on the stage management and creative license, but I wish them all well.

  • habana999

    Again as previous posters have commented, I don’t doubt a lot of it if not all is ‘fake’ but I really enjoyed it (better than any Hollywood blockbuster in my opinion) I think a few smart guys thought hey this seems to happen a lot online – lets make a film about it (similar idea to the people behind unknown white male) and make some money. I enjoyed it and agree with the absolute possibility that this kind of thing can and does happen. Unknown white male however I found a lot more traumatic to watch.

  • Uzume

    Real or not, I enjoyed the movie. The part that did make my husband and I raise our eyebrows and wonder if it was real though was when Nev goes to ‘Megan’s’ farm and just drives up to it at 2.30am looking through windows etc. My husband is a Texan and I’m a Brit, we both lived in TN for 3 years and we both know that, in rural communities, you are going to get shot in that situation! I don’t think anyone would do that if they didn’t already know it was safe.

    I have seen posts on Angela’s art page which state that for her, it was all real so I suppose it’s down to what one chooses to believe. At the end of the day, it’s not going to cause any harm whatever one believes in this case.

  • Lil Love

    Catfish was interesting, thought provoking and of course debating, but enjoyable? I was uncomfortable at times…

    1) Why a grown man would be communicating with an 8 year old girl, even through her mother supposedly.

    2) All that pouting going on with Nev.

    3) Why anyone would show up in the early hours outside a ranch, full head lights on…

    It is important if this is fake or not, of course. I don’t want to be fooled. If they wanted to depict what goes on in the cyber world, why not make a film rather than a documentary?

    Still, they got us all talking. Maybe they did it to help out Angela and her family in some way.

  • Matt

    Interesting but not sure it can be real..
    Pretty sure authorities would not let the film be released where the young girls face is shown if this was real.
    Secondly, the use of someone else’s pictures? That person would surely take some legal action.
    May have happened but must be recreated if that is the case.

  • Connor

    I highly doubt this documentary is fake. Yes, maybe they did re-create some scenes to make it more watchable and intense for the viewers.
    But do you really think they would allow 2 down-syndrome boys to be used as ‘props’ in a movie?
    And the comment by Matt… the only person who could of been sued for using the pictures of other people would be Angela, and i dont think anyone is that heartless.

  • jra

    I live here, and they have no accents. EVERYONE born and raised here has a strong Fargo/Canadian accent.

  • antigenx

    The URL from the transcript strikes me as a typo for which is an ISP. Interestingly, the URL is semi-valid when you fix the domain:

    Unfortunately, the file in question is not there, but other mp3 files are.

  • Simone

    If it was real – how did they get step by step vision of the paintings? (i.e. horse painting)

  • Brennan Ritchie

    They were brothers and filmmakers, so they probably filmed everything and Nev let him know every time he was going to deal with anything involving Abby. There’s even a scene where they fight about the guy filming Nev. Why do unsuccessful people have to try to shit on the success of other people?

    • Katerina

      LOL! If I was to hate successful people, I would hate Bill Gates or even Madonna, not the guys who made Catfish.

  • Andy

    Has anyone thought of the fact the the movie in itself, apart from being called “Catfish” actually is a catfish (as they describe a catfish in the movie). It is something or someone that keeps you guessing, thinking and questioning. It keeps you alert. In the movie, Angela is the catfish. In real life, Catfish is the catfish. They question angela just as we are questioning this movie. This fact in itself makes this an even better setup. Because this is all fake, I’m sure. But nevertheless, it’s an awesome movie.

  • down under

    blah blah blah stupid americans and their dillusional grasp on reality. you probably all believed the blair witch movie also. this movie is bs, prolly had a few real parts to it mixed with the typical hollywood bs and there you have is a movie. this is nothing year for how many years now have many ppl faked their online identities, they do shows on it all the time. as for that person who said a movie is so life changing and should do so much for ones life and this movie did, that is creepy and disturbing, you need to figure out the meaning of life before you give so much power and money that is just consumerism at its best and means nothing, apart from a little entertaining. there are some movies things that are profound and talk about things that matter in this world, this movie isn’t one of them. it has served its purpose, ppl are talking about it, good or bad.

  • DontBmistaken

    I think you have entirely too much time on your hands. this was a great movie. As a filmaker, I will just assume that many of the errors you caught were due to poor editing

  • ItHappens

    Something very similar to this happened to my daughter. The woman who fooled her was even named Angie. She had my daughter (young adult) convinced of all sorts of things, and she involved other characters. I find myself wondering if she was this same woman.

  • SleepingDragon

    The reason why it matters whether or not it’s fake is because it’s sold as a documentary. Call it a movie if it’s fictional or a take on the truth, just short of real. You have to be very comfortable suspending disbelief to think that this film is authentic. The reactions are illogical and insincere, the plot is contrived and utterly predictable, and the crowning jewel of the whole production is the ridiculous moment when the husband is explaining what a Catfish is. He says nothing else but this perfect soundbite? Epic Fail. Even worse is the intelectual fail of those who believed it. Go see a real documentary Tall, Hot Blonde and you’ll see that actual truth is much more interesting than this sophmoric attempt at cleverness.

  • Diane

    I know a girl who pretended to be a guy and started having an online relationship with a girl from New Jersey. This was long before Facebook existed, these were chat room days.
    She carried this relationship on for over a year, they fell in love, and finally the girl I know went to Jersey to meet this other girl without warning her first that she wasn’t a guy!
    It didn’t play out well, as you can imagine. I stopped talking to this girl after she went to Jersey. In addition to this stunt, her general behavior said “sociopath” to me.
    It’s easier than you think to pull this kind of thing off.

  • Natalie

    I watched this yesterday thinking it was a very well done “mockumentary”. I had no idea they tried to pass this off as real. In fact, I was just about to check IMDB to see what these fellas are working on now. While I was watching, I thought the handicapped twins were a nice touch. That would partially explain Angela’s desire to escape into a different world–due to the demands of caring for the twins. Now I’m all types of confused!

  • Karl

    I think it would only make the movie better if it was fake. Reality is overrated. In either case I enjoyed the film tremendously, and also found Nev totally hot. :P

  • Leroy

    I have worked for the postal service and the key is in the letters and postcards they sent. Supposedly they drove to the “fake Megan Home” and in the mailbox were the letters and postcards marked “return to the above address for correct disposition”. This would only be stamped on a piece of mail AFTER it could not be delivered and returned to post office to be returned to sender. Which basically means the letters or postcards were returned to them after sending to a false address(notice address was blacked out with marker) then they brought them and pretended they were till in the mailbox, not having been picked up. But if they had been delivered and never picked up, the message would have never been stamped. I think all these little things that are easy to over look add up to something being catfishy.

    • Gabe

      Great point on the stamping and blacked out address.. plus.. he only looked into a pitch black barn.. not the house. very confusing.

    • Aquaman

      Leroy, the rubber stamping actually says “Returned to this address for proper disposition”. A return address was not blacked out with a marker. There was no return address on either postcard. What was blacked out are long barcodes. Those only appear on the card which had the penny taped to it. Look here: .

      The two postcards were mailed from Gardiner, Montana (Yellowstone National Park) in late June. They apparently sat in the vacant farm mailbox for about 6 weeks.

  • kingman

    it’s fake or real i dont care

  • kingman

    ps catfish SUCKS

  • Kherova

    I don’t understand why people don’t care that it is fake. The whole film is about how crappy it is to lie to people, to lead them on in beleiving something is real when it isn’t. Nev feels anger about how his trust is abused, should the audience not feel that way when the movie when it lies to them. I wouldn’t have had a problem if it was a film based on real events, but passing it off as a straight documentary underminds the whole impact. It should have just been a film based on true events shot in documentary style, and presented iself as such and it wouldn’t be hypocritical.

  • austin

    All of your arguments are circumstantial and not very strong for it to be a fake documentary. The strongest argument that it is fake is that they never say it is a real documentary or based on real interactions.
    You say they got all the crucial parts on camera and that is hard to do, but how do you know what they have edited out or how many hours of film they tossed out. For all you know the 86 min was originally 4 hours long. The reference to the model they met on the plane trip; I’ve met 3 girls this year at the airport who claim to be models and have rode ponies. What girl doesn’t ride ponies, thats why there is a show called my little pony. And claiming their blog doesn’t perfectly coincide with their film production log is kinda stretching it there. A blog hardly constitutes anything official. There are some people who think we never landed on the moon and it was all filmed in a hollywood basement.

  • Derek

    Whether the movie is entertaining or based on true events is less important than knowing if the movie were re-created or loosely based on facts in large part or just pure fiction. This should have been made known at the beginning rather than misleading the viewers into thinking it was all happening in real time, which it was clearly not. I also can’t imagine someone agreeing to be filmed after carrying out a full scale deception and knowing she will be subject to public scrutiny, so I too have my doubts as to authenticity here. However, the most major flaw in the whole scenario which leads me to believe it’s all fake is that the parties, though tech savy, did not even communicate via webcam where the truth would have been easily apparent, especially where a relationship was professed to be so intimate. In this day and age, it defies logic and calls into question the entire foundation of the movie. Moving beyond the realm of facebook and texting, at the stage of the realationship, it would have been simple enough to verify everything via webcam, which never happened!! Clearly a fake, people.

  • Jill Bennett

    All I can say about this is it broke my heart. I cried all the way through it. Because the same thing happened to me. But I was the one that did it. I’m 57 and I had a fake on myspace and Facebook. I met a guy that was 27. I had this totally fake life as a 23 year old beautiful girl that I stole her pictures off the Internet. We fell in love. Well I fell in love with him. He loved the fake. He found out because I was careless. It didn’t turn out like there’s did but for a few months we still talked and he did love the real me. But we knew society wouldn’t accept us. I’m unhappily married and I was bored but I’ll never make excuses. It was terribly wrong and I’ll never forgive myself. Whether it’s a real story or not? Doesn’t matter because it does happen. Btw he told me about this show. We talked on the phone today for the first time since July. There’s still something there that will never happen.

  • Pete

    Umm Scott, you need to realize that people will act and react very differently to you. Especially crazy people like Angela. You keep saying “This is insanity to me!!” and you are right. It is insane behaviour, but that does not mean it is not true. The character you are talking about generally is insane, and her behaviour (including when being caught out) is very typical of someone with an infatuation. They don’t ‘freak out’ like you might, but react in a very different way. Even using it as a way of getting more attention. Good news for you is that you are not a crazy deceptive sociopath like her!

    Nothing you point out in your piece points to fakeness, it only shows your (and many of us share it) inability to understand a lot of the behaviour of the lunatics.

    In regards to you questioning why they would starts filming the doco in the first place… that’s a bit silly. Cheap Doco makers film everything all day anyway. They are very annoying with it. Film students are often the same, and with small cameras (like the one in the movie) and things like video blogging and youtube, people often do just run the camera all day long on meaningless things.

  • notmyrealname


    In my opinion, it doesn’t really matter if it’s real or not, and if it wasn’t, it would only add to the story.

    That aside, it is real. First of all, if they wanted to fake the events in this movie, they could have based it on some real life stories, and made it a whole lot better.

    The most compelling evidence this movie is real though is the fact that it’s been covered on ABC’s investigative news TV show, 20/20.

    20/20 is one of their most popular, top rated, prime time shows, has won all kinds of awards, and carries an extremely high level of credibility.

    Any journalist, and especially an investigative news journalist, gladly kill, just for the opportunity to work for ABC. To work at ABC lo 20/20? That would pretty much be practically every investigative news journalist’s dream come true.

    For those might read this who live in other countries. There are only 3 major broadcasting stations in the United States, and ABC is one of them. ABC has assets totalling in the billions, and has the financial means to hire only very “best of the best,” and have extensive resources for conducting investigations, that probably only the FBI can match.

    20/20 is an investigative news show, so don’t you think they conducted a thorough investigation into absolutely everything about this movie before broadcasting this story as true?

    20/20 has been on the air, building their audience, and earning their reputation for credibility and the accuracy of their reporting oh, 10 years or so? You don’t really think they’d risk losing all that for the sake of covering up a “hoax” for these three clowns, do you?

  • Jane

    I believe that the movie was partially staged from the time that it was realized that Facebook communication possible wasn’t real. The story of Angela, is real! They used her situation for their documentary, but she also saw an opportunity to use this to promote her art. I believe she was trying to escape her reality in life, like a game. A game like this can end at any point but can, in real life, leave people devastating and dissalusioned with social networks and the internet itself. But with no regulations in place for this kind of activity, all is fair in the game. Angela, has gained sympathing and interest from the public as well as her art, which is very good. I do wonder what effect this all had on her marriage and relationship? How it is and will effect her daughters? Maybe this could lead up to a sequel? Either way the life lessons that could be learned from this story can be inspiring if a person chooses to let it be and not look at it for entertainment. I wish the film makers and Angela the best in thier endevors. It was an interesting take on the possiblities of the games that people can and do play and the inspiration of a woman’s life of caregiving to the point of loss of her idenity and her creative attempt to maintain herself in the midst and to find expression.

    That is what I received from watching this movie and will continue to watch Angela’s artistic career bloom via Facebook. As for the film makers they have work to do..but it was a good endevor and good springboard…to learn from for future projects. Best of Luck!

  • Lee Grey

    The art of Angela Pierce ( ) is also considerably better than the art seen in the film, both technically and in thoughtfulness of subject. It looks as if the amateur art was part of the act too. Assuming the film is a fake, she is a remarkable actor.

  • Nai

    I wonder is how long she had those accounts… And how many friends did “Megan” have? Since FB tracks account creation, it seems like she would have had to have been doing these fake personas for awhile. Otherwise, it would have been too easy to figure out.

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  • Courtney

    I barely even watched it. I believe it is a total fake. They always make movies and shows about Michigan but never film here. That Aimee Gonzales hasn’t even posted anything since April 22. They should pretend to film in some other state. If you want to see a real movie about Michigan in made in Michigan watch “Mr. Art Critic”. Some guy goes to Mackinac Island, my second home. There is also a big sculpture of a boob in it.