Heartwarming stories of friendship make for great movies. Viral stories of friendship make for profitable movies. As soon as Buzzfeed’s “Brother Orange saga” hit the interwebs, its cinematic fate was sealed. Someone would eventually produce this multicultural bromance, this feel-good tale of technology’s interpersonal achievements, for the big screen, and BLACK MIRROR fans everywhere would feel a little less jaded.
It all began as a one-off post by Buzzfeed writer Matt Stopera about the stranger posing with a bunch of oranges in his Photo Stream, who discovered after several months of photographic glimpses into the other man’s life that when his phone had been stolen in NYC it had been sold to someone in China, who was still signed into his iCloud account. The story became a Chinese social media sensation, resulting in a Weibo wild-goose chase for the mystery man–a successful goose-chase that eventually led to reuniting Matt and “Brother Orange,” as he’d been dubbed, in China, as well as legitimate internet stardom for them both. You can find the whole saga detailed here, and let me tell you: it’s a wild, citrusy ride.
Back in 2015, when the story’s fame reached its peak, Buzzfeed made a documentary about it; but we knew then it wouldn’t be enough.
— Ash Oat (@taoofoat) February 23, 2015
That was a joke. BUT NOW IT’S REAL. And it’s starring Sheldon from the BIG BANG THEORY! (AKA Jim Parsons)
What a weird, wonderful, media-saturated world we live in. But beneath the whole “crazy connections of the Internet” narrative that strings the plot together is a surprisingly touching tale of friendship between two unlikely soulmates.
I ship it.