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Strangers Kissing Is So Yesterday But Strangers Slapping Each Other Is The Future

Filmmaker Max Landis builds on the premise of that infamous kissing-strangers video, without parodying it, by asking 40 friends, including Haley Joel Osment, to slap each other in the face so hard.

Admit it, every now and then you get the urge to slap somebody. And as long as we’re admitting stuff here, how about this: you’re probably also curious what it feels like to get slapped. Screenwriter Max Landis has certainly felt that way too, which is why he rounded up 40 friends, including grown child star Haley Joel Osment, and filmed them slapping fire out of each other’s faces.

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The idea started when Landis stumbled upon an all-white studio space just like the one in that kissing strangers video, which was revealed to be a stealth ad for Wren. He didn’t want to make a parody of that video, and the bones of parody fodder had been picked pretty dry anyway. What he wanted, he claims in a companion video, is to do an experiment to see whether a slap with permission could be as intimate as a kiss. He and 40 friends spent the day in randomly arranged permutations and negotiated how the slaps would go down.


The experiment ends up revealing a lot about the people involved. It’s interesting, for instance, to see how hard they decide to slap, and how much pleasure they get out of it. Indeed some folks end up doling out several blows or alternating with the backhand. Also worth noting is the way slap-recipients react upon getting their cheeks, ears, or necks breached. On the whole, everyone seems caught up in some kind of Fight Club-level exhilaration, casting aside the shackles of civility that ordinarily prevent people from slapping each other. It sort of puts into context all those scenes from movies and sitcoms when someone slaps a friend who’s being hysterical or overly negative and the friend says, “Thanks, I needed that.”

For more explanation and behind the scenes footage, and of course, much more slapping, watch the companion video, Point of Impact, below.