It's the 'reel' thing – and it's completely addictive

This week marks the first anniversary of a Web site we knew nothing about, but are now fascinated with – The Reel Thing.

The site was launched by Karyn Witzel and Caroline Burner, who said they had lost their sense of romance when it came to movies. They just weren't buying some of the couple pairings they were seeing on the big screen. So they launched a site devoted to rating these couples to see if they were truly the "reel" thing and whether they would live happily ever after. 

The Reel Thing reviews couples in both current and classic movies, and each couple gets a rating of zero to five reels. Site viewers and movie-goers can also put their 2 cents in, as there is a comments feature on the site. 

At first glance, we thought, "Wow. These two have a lot of free time on their hands." Then we looked at the site. And we couldn't stop looking at the site. It's a truly fascinating microcosm of the way women think – and we're betting the bulk of the site's visitors are women.

You go online at, and there's a list of couples from popular flicks. Chick flicks, mind you. You can click on the movie title, and find out what the Reel Thing ladies thought of the relationship depicted in that movie. 

You'll find a Reel Thing rating, and a spot to rate them yourself. There's also a description of the relationship, including the history of it. There's even a photo if you can't quite picture who they're talking about. There's an analysis of why the relationship does or doesn't work also. 

Again, these women have a lot of free time.

But we found ourselves scrolling down the list, looking for movies we loved, searching for the couples we crossed our fingers for, watched fall in and out of love, and then ride off into the sunset together. It's downright addictive. It's kind of like the ultimate "where are they now?" kind of thing…only it's about fictional characters and the information about whether they lasted or not is pure speculation.

Nonetheless, we enjoyed the site. It's just like going to the movies. The stories and the names are made up or changed to protect the innocent, but for a couple of hours, our cares are left behind as we become a part of someone else's world. In a dark theater, no one cares if your mortgage is crippling, your health is bad, you're unemployed and you have an ingrown toenail. You are just like everyone else in that theater, and you root for or scream in anger at the same characters. It's cathartic.

Maybe these Reel Thing ladies are on to something...

Published Thursday, February 17, 2011 10:24 AM by bulldog
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