Once upon a time in Manhattan, two strangers slipped right.
“Dating & New York,” a modern-day romantic comedy about relationships in an app-dominated era, hits theaters on September 10. Writer and director Jonah Feingold – who wanted to create a romantic comedy that is both “timeless” and “modern” – fuses elements of traditional romantic comedies with modern technology for its story.
“I’ve never seen just a movie that explores what’s happening on the phone screen,” the 31-year-old New York native told The Post of today’s complex dating world and of the idea behind his directorial debut.
“Dating & New York” explores dating tech details and nuances of social media, like checking someone’s Instagram grid to see if they’re single, fear of double texts [texting more than once without a reply] and discussing how long you are expected to wait to respond to your interlocutor.
“The rules are changing,” Feingold said. “You can say a lot with a text message, and even more by viewing someone’s story on Instagram. “
“Dating & New York,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in June, follows two millennial singles: Milo, played by Jaboukie Young-White, who is best known for his role in “Someone Great ” and like a correspondent on “The Daily Show”, and Wendy, played by Francesca Reale, who was in the third season of “Stranger Things”. The duo first meet through a dating app called Meet Cute, and they end up becoming friends with perks after trying and failing in the New York dating arena.
The film is set in Manhattan, but since it was an independent film on a budget, Feingold said finding locations to shoot takes a bit of creativity. A friend of hers owns the August Laura bar – located just around the corner from Tompkins Square Park – which Feingold used as a hangout, brunch spot, and comedy club. But he also chose iconic locations in New York City, as well as locations that sparked ideas for the script.
“I was in Tompkins Square Park and literally when I was walking around I saw like five couples going their separate ways,” he said. “So I pulled out my Notes app on my phone and wrote it down to our list of locations.”
The park later became the backdrop for a scene where Milo and Wendy poke fun at the breakup of other couples.
Beyond what the city had to offer, Feingold also looked to his own life and film idols for ideas.
Feingold, fan of Nora Ephron films such as “You’ve Got Mail”, also lists classics such as “His Girl Friday” and “The Shop Around the Corner” as inspirations. He said he grew up watching Disney movies, as well as early 2000s hits such as “27 Dresses” and “Notting Hill”.
For the screenplay, he drew on his own experience with dating apps and luck and misfortune in dating technology.
“The movie is kind of meant to make the point that the less games you play, the more likely you are to be successful as a couple,” he said. “The more authentic you are on the app, the more likely you are to find someone you like.”
When watching the film, Feingold wants his audience to smile first, then feel less alone in the dating vortex. While trying to find “the right one” can be intimidating and overwhelming, he wants viewers to know that we’re all in the same boat.
“We’re all trying to figure out this kind of new landscape of modern romance,” he said. “The movie is supposed to act as a time capsule for this dating age, and you’ll be fine.”
Jonah’s Top 3 Dating Hot Spots At New York
Located on the Upper East Side, Feingold calls this place his “home”. JG Melon is her favorite place for everything, whether it’s a date or a meal with family and friends. It’s only cash, but don’t worry if you forget dollar bills as there is an ATM across the street. Dubbed a “saloon with food,” JG Melon is Manhattan’s ultimate haunt by day and night.
1291 3rd avenue
Sauce is a place Feingold said he will “love forever”. It’s a wine bar with great music and a “really cool vibe”. Located in Williamsburg, the local restaurant and bar has no menus and serves only daily specials. It offers a wide range of wines, but is accessible only, so plan accordingly.
331 Bedford Avenue
Radio du Lot
Also located in Brooklyn, Lot radio started out as a simple radio station and developed into a low-key, completely dirty patio with food and drink. There’s no hassle or a line-up, Feingold said, which is why he loves her so much. He even threw his birthday party there so everyone could celebrate together and not have to worry about entering.
17 Nassau Avenue.