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Shopping For Mr Right (1995)

Main image of Shopping For Mr Right (1995)
For Short Stories, Channel Four, tx. 12/10/1995
26 mins, colour
DirectorKaren Blumenfeld
Production CompanyRay Fitzwalter Associates
ProducerLuise Nandy

A successful black professional thirty-something woman, Sharon Lloyd, tries her luck in the lonely hearts columns of New York, when she cannot find a suitable mate in her native Manchester.

Show full synopsis

This documentary follows a trend established by many similar programmes (not to mention Bridget Jones' Diary, then a successful newspaper column) in showing how to find a man when you're over 30. Shown in Channel Four's Short Stories series, Shopping for Mr Right (tx. 12/10/1995) explores the very real problem that a lot of women face: they may be successful, financially secure, and even have children, but they cannot find a life partner.

Where Shopping For Mr Right differs from its rivals is that it also investigates the problems encountered when someone is trying to find a partner from a particular ethnic background. It follows Sharon round New York on a series of dates. Her encounters raise questions about the differences between Black American and Black British men and women, though these are not explored in any great depth. There are also signs that Sharon is merely attracted by the novelty of the exercise, rather than the men, as these differences may be refreshing and appealing in themselves.

Sharon seeks the advice of Deborah, a larger-than-life journalist who could initially be mistaken for a Jerry Springer Show guest, and whose lack of expertise is all too clear. But her advice does bear fruit, and Sharon does indeed find her Mr Right, although there is a clear suggestion that her success stemmed more from her own commitment and sincere belief that her life partner was just waiting to be discovered.

Shopping For Mr Right is stylistically conventional, and the voice-over occasionally clashes with Sharon's personality - but the absence of a Blind Date-style gameshow approach is refreshing.

Mariayah Kaderbhai

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Video Clips
Complete film (25:42)
Extract 1 (2:15)
Extract 2 (1:51)
Extract 3 (3:00)