On paper Silicone Soul, the latest documentary from auteur Melody Gilbert sounds like it would be a preachy and didactic attack of its subjects. Those subjects are people who are engaged in relationships with synthetic companions—silicone sex dolls, and the like. A few readers might already be turned off by that very idea. If Gilbert took that same approach of vilifying John or Davecat or the other people presented throughout the fast 70-minute runtime, nothing else about the film would matter. The editing could be perfect (or any other aspect), but due to the nastiness of that holier than thou posturing, the documentary would come across as exploitative and nasty.
Happily, for all involved with Silicone Soul, Gilbert goes quite the opposite route. She lets the participants speak for themselves, and what emerges is nothing short of miraculous. John married his wife, Jackie, on The Jerry Springer Show. “That show was about relationships, usually unhealthy ones, but not exclusively, so what?” I hear your thinking. Well, Jackie is not a human being. She is a person made of silicone, painted glass eyes, and a remarkably life-like wig.
“…people who are engaged in relationships with synthetic companions; silicone sex dolls, and the like.”
John and Jackie have been married for decades, and have found a happy routine. They go to the zoo often and the employees there are always quite happy to see the couple. They frequent an Italian restaurant and are so beloved there that other patrons request to be seated near them once Valentine’s Day comes around. For their upcoming anniversary, John has ordered Jackie a new body, and both are anxiously awaiting its arrival.
During their interviews, John discusses how Jackie has access to every part of his mind. But, he only has limited access to hers. There are secrets she keeps, and he is just fine with that. While some family members of his do not know what to make of John and Jackie’s relationship, his niece is quite supportive. A vast number of their neighbors are as well. Most of whom find Jackie to be lovely and sweet.
"…lets the participants speak for themselves..."