A documentary–of sorts–of a Facebook romance gone bad, Catfish follows Nev Schulman, a New York City photographer, as he slowly unravels the web of lies and half-truths told him by a pretty 19 year-old calling herself Megan on the web. He drives to Michigan to find out how much of the story is real, and discovers the woman behind the sexy texts is 40 year old Angela Wesselman. Still trying to keep up the charade, Angela lets Nev into her home while pretending to call Megan; Nev happens upon two shirtless young men and is flatly told, “They’re handicapped.” Nev quickly puts down the camera and continues his fact-finding mission from the front porch.
Later, Nev gently confronts Angela about her deceptions, and she tells him that all her online personalities were based on herself, on the person she would have been had she made different choices in life, such as not marrying Vince and becoming the stepmother (and, apparently, primary caregiver) to two severely developmentally delayed boys. (Their specific disability is never named.) One uses a wheelchair and is fed via g-tube, while the other is ambulatory and can lead her to the kitchen to indicate when he’s hungry. (Angela implies that he’ll hit her with a pot if she doesn’t comply.)
Nev is satisfied knowing the impetus of Angela’s escapist fantasies, but though caregiving for two severely disabled individuals is taxing both physically and mentally, few caregivers act out in such ways. By way of explanation, Wesselman claims in a 20/20 interview that she’d been diagnosed as a schizophrenic, and there were days when she believed that Megan really existed. We at Disability Movies sincerely hope the Wesselman family has gotten some appropriate home health care to relieve the strain.