Author: Gihring, Tim
Date published: September 1, 2012
I AM FRESH MEAT. No sooner am I inside Kailen Rosenberg's Wayzata office than her employees- tall women with blonde highlights- are eyeing me like a deli case in a tie. "Just scheming," admits one. Rosenberg runs Kai-len Love and Life Architects, where she'll help you find a partner, if only after helping you find yourself- a matchmaker-plus, though Kailen shudders at the term. "Soul connector?" she proffers.
Her view of love has never been simplistic: she grew up with a flighty hippie mom, became a model, and got her start in matchmaking by coaching her fellow beauties ("I just wanted them to be happy," she says). It took "one great big try" at marriage- at age 19- before she found her current spouse. If s the kind of story Oprah Winfrey would go for, which is exactly what Rosenberg thought.
She pitched a reality show to Winfrey's OWN network and, one day this spring, found herself in Kingsland, Georgia, with a camera crew and fellow love coach Paul Carrick Brunson, the inspiration for Will Smith's Hitch. Called Lovetown, U.S.A., the show, which began airing on August 19, follows the pair as they find matches for six singles in 30 days. There are y'alls and brawls and a bit of early tension between the coaches themselves: Brunson says he doesn't believe in soulmates; Rosenberg blanches. Good stuff.
But it wasn't good enough for Winfrey. A week into filming, she flew into town and declared, as only she can, a higher purpose: an experiment to see what would happen if an entire city focused on love for a month. And so, Rosenberg found herself healing feuds as well as hearts- rifts between families, businesses, even churches. It wasn't easy: a barber once told her, "We don't want you here," when she came in with her crew. But strangely enough, the town began to mend, and then things got truly sexy.
"We're ripping ourselves off in life," Rosenbergtells me. "We're so judgmental and unforgiving, we don't realize the kind of love we're missing out on" Does she now advise Winfrey on romance? "She's a friend," Rosenberg says. "But she doesn't need my help." - TIM GIHRING