Yelp is useful for all sorts of things: Finding a dentist, picking a place to eat lunch, leaving reviews of former romantic flames — wait, you don't use it for the last one? Maybe that's unique to Natalie Walker, whose Yelp reviews of past dates have the Internet in stitches. Earlier this week, the New York City-based actress began putting Yelp to unorthodox use by leaving reviews for places she'd patronized on dates — but rather than reviewing the restaurant, movie theater, or venue, she rates the dates themselves. The results are nothing short of pure, unadulterated brilliance.
Like any other Yelp review, each date is evaluated on a star-based system. Good ones, like the date where she made out in a fancy hotel room with a boy who later turned out to be gay, receive up to five stars; on the other hand, though, ones where her date's phone dares to interrupt Amy Morton's performance in August: Osage County are awarded one star. (Understandably so.) It's a hilarious concept in itself, but it's elevated to comedic genius by Walker's dry, matter-of-fact tone. When reviewing a Union Square movie theater, for instance, she writes, "Went on a date here in 2008 to see The Happening with my high school boyfriend. I gave him a handjob in the theater and he took forever and arm got tired. 1 star."
Walker told the Huffington Post that she makes a point of using dates that are far enough in the past to have some emotional distance. In fact, she told Refinery 29 that some of her exes have even reached out and given her permission to review their dates.
Walker's tweets blew up after Miranda July retweeted one review, which proved to be a double-edged sword. Her posts gained hundreds of retweets and favorites, but it also brought her reviews to the attention of Yelp, who began deleting her reviews. Dun dun DUNNNNN.
Walker took the opportunity to start a back-and-forth with the Yelp employee — all documented on her Twitter account, of course. So far, her efforts to keep her reviews from being deleted have included a few photoshopped disguises, the pseudonym Wal dot Ker, and attempting to seduce the employee through email.
Although Yelp's latest email threatened to delete her account entirely, Walker's Yelp account is still posting reviews as of this writing, including one for the Yelp Headquarters where she plans to meet her "inscrutable goddess" Pam. Perhaps Walker and Pam's true love will prevail after all.
What can I say? I ship it.