The trailer for Three Identical Strangers

Filmmaker Tim Wardle released it in 2018, but the documentary Three Identical Strangers feels appropriately of its ’80s era. Yes, it has the outfits and the crappy cars, but the film’s first hour in particular has the kind of goofy buddy-movie feel that feels so cozy, you’d swear it was ripped out of fiction like Goonies or Ghostbusters.

These three guys just shy of 20—Bobby, David, and Eddy—recount their perspective on a gradually unraveling mystery involving each of them. It starts when Bobby goes to his first day of community college, and everyone seems to greet him as if they’re old best friends. Then, Eddy’s actual best friend recognizes the confusion on this seemingly familiar face and asks: you don’t have a relative named Eddy, do you? 

Maybe you see where this is going and can already imagine the headlines (or Donahue or Today Show appearances). But Three Identical Strangers continues to play theaters today—and will air on CNN this Saturday, February 2—because the film has so much more to offer than a feel-good tale of lost siblings serendipitously finding each other. The documentary doesn’t hide any supernatural elements like Goonies or Ghostbusters, but something otherworldly may or may not be happening.

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