Falling in love is probably the best thing that can happen to someone. Until it’s over, that is. Helen Fisher is an anthropologist, who is interested in examining why people fall in love and, more importantly, why it is so hard for people to move on after a break-up. Alley Scott (rejected four days ago), Michael Hariton (rejected two weeks ago), Rosey La Rouge (fell in love at the Mermaid Parade), and other New Yorkers share their break-up stories as they learn to cope with their remaining feelings of love, which are still just as strong as when the relationship was at its peak.
There probably isn’t a person alive, who hasn’t experienced rejection at some point. It can be very difficult, if not impossible, to fall out of love with someone, with the lingering feelings being similar to an addiction. Sleepless in New York moves between the different case studies with the subjects narrating their thoughts as they learn to cope with their heartbreak. There are many moments when the subjects, particularly Alley Scott, break down in front of the camera which can make the film quite depressing to watch at times.
As a whole, the film asks some very interesting questions about the human need for romantic love, which has evolved over the course of millions of years. No one knows why people desire love, especially when it can become so painful. One thing that is for sure is that, as Helen Fisher says at one point in the film, “nobody gets out of love alive.”