• 27 Jul - 02 Aug, 2019
  • Mag The Weekly

James Singer (Kendall Ryan Sanders) is an earnest, smart, but shy college freshman in Swiped. Of course, James gets the most popular, roommate in the dorm, Lance Black (Noah Centineo), whose idea of a date is a coveted girl who won't ask his name, won't stay all night, and expects no second contact. When Lance realises the depth of James' computer skills, he makes the brainy coder an offer he can't refuse. If James can create and manage an app that facilitates such nearly anonymous liaisons, he'll pay for James to go to an elite college that he otherwise can't afford. James reluctantly agrees. He creates, he manages, and "Jungle" becomes an online sensation. Campus codes are more than willing to post pictures of themselves in promiscuous clothes, and the app takes off. When James realises what mischief he has wrought (his own recently divorced mother signs up!), he's horrified. He immediately shuts the app down ... too soon for those whose fondest dreams have just been realised, and just in time for others to re-evaluate what really matters in a relationship.

Take the digital factor out of this trite comedy and what's left is a decades-old premise with good intentions, bad execution, and one-dimensional characters looking for love or random meetups. Lessons are learned in Swiped, but perfunctorily – e.g., a womanising ex-husband with "ditzy blonde" issues comes back to his wife because she looks pretty at a party. Values are glossed over. Internal logic is missing, too. No one creates and launches an app in what appears to be days. A young man who desperately needs funds to attend a fine college probably shouldn't be coming home for the holidays to very rich grandparents who live in a mansion.

Mildly entertaining but forgettable.