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(500) Days of Summer: The Dating Game

01 September 2009

(500) Days of Summer is a smart, savvy Rom Com that lies a little outside the traditional box of "boy meets girl".  So with that in mind and as the resident woeful singleton of The Fan Carpet, I was invited to attend the Meddlers of Honour (500) Days Singles Party, something that also professes to be a little bit more than your average speed dating shenanigans.

It works like this.  Boys and girls show up at a nightclub (in this case Punk in the heart of Soho). On each table are bowls of Haribo (sugar coated crack to my mind), some Love Hearts and a pen and paper.  You can write messages to people you fancy and get one of the "Meddlers" (designated by the big "Ms" round their necks) to deliver your message to your chosen target.  It's a bit like getting one of your friends to go over to your object of affection and say "my mate fancies you", except that now you've got an official middle man.

For the most part, these errant cupids seemed a mite unnecessary.  All the single guys in the place were so confident that shyly passing notes seemed a little too subtle.  A number of times, I was having a nice polite conversation with a lady when one of them butted in, swaggering up with a "hi, I work in insurance" or something to that effect.  It didn't really elicit anything but eye-rolling from my female friends but I suppose full marks for trying.  As a male there who wasn't actively pursuing female prey, I felt a little out of place to start with - like something was expected of me.

But as the night wore on, the music got better (classic but not cheesy songs from every decade), the drinks were free flowing and everyone seemed to be having a good time.

At one point, I noted to myself that I was sitting on a chaise longue with ten, I kid thee not, ten beautiful women - all of whom I already knew and was friendly with.  Before I could don my Huggy Bear costume though, it dawned on me that I was sitting there like the harem's prized eunuch, in amongst the hotties but no threat to any of them.

The concept is a great idea and completely removes the danger of boys and girls sitting on either sides of the room as if they were at a school disco; the Meddlers are great icebreakers.  It just seemed in this case that there was no ice in the first place, everyone just knuckled down and had a good time without any prompting.

I've got no romantic liaisons to report, but I had a good time.  The atmosphere was friendly, the music decent and the company outstanding, so it's likely you will too.

Written by Jez Sands