Date Movie (2006)
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Review Date: March 03, 2006
Director: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
Writer: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
Producers: Paul Schiff
Alyson Hannigan as Julia
Adam Campbell as Grant
Eddie Griffin as Frank
A spoof flick that makes fun of classic and not-so-classic romantic comedies, starring a cute girl who can’t seem to find the “right guy” for herself. She tries everything from losing weight to hitting the reality TV show circuit to hooking up with a date doctor named “Hitch”. Ultimately, she finds a script that places her in the middle of a zillion different scenarios all played out in previous movies. Some laughs ensue, but mostly blank stares and deep sighs.
Some of my favorite comedies of all-time are “stupid comedies”, the type that basically make fun of other movies, break down the wall between actor and audience member, parody anything that they think might work within their goofed-up scenario and basically toss as many jokes as they can out there, in the hopes that the majority of them will stick. Films like AIRPLANE, TOP SECRET, NAKED GUN and the original SCARY MOVIE can be considered classics when compared to the slew of others that have tried to bang out the laughs for bucks, many of which leave much to be desired. DATE MOVIE falls into the latter category, if only because it doesn’t really seem to want to be “good” as much as it just wants to include as many references to other movies as it can, with this hopes that people will recognize a line or a scene from their favorite romantic comedy and…enjoy this movie more because of that? Oh, and they don’t stick solely to romantic comedies either, as films like KILL BILL and LORD OF THE RINGS also get unsuccessfully tossed into the batter. And what was with that final add-on scene featuring KING KONG? I mean, I love Carmen Electra as much as the next guy, but that was just stupid…Sophie Monk was plenty of hottie for one movie! I would have suggested starting out with some actual comedy…and then attempting to squeeze that base of humor into some classic romantic comedy movie scenarios (like the WHEN HARRY MET SALLY sequence, which was a touch humorous).

That said, I’m not gonna pretend that I didn’t enjoy some of the idiocies in this film, including a couple of one-liners (“I’m not gonna take you to Chinatown, I’m gonna take you to 134th street and bust you in the head with a pipe”), the basketball court/sweating sequence, a funny moment from MR. AND MRS. SMITH, the wedding day zit and even that damn cat shitting (sorry, but fart jokes generally get to me). On the other hand, the film’s mostly packed with busts including the overuse of that stupid cat, lame jabs at easy targets like Paris Hilton, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez’s big ass (is that still funny?), as well as tepid plays on MEET THE PARENTS (a totally under-utilized Fred Willard), PRETTY WOMAN, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING and others. To top that off, the film barely runs 80 minutes, so it’s not like they had a lot of time to kill, but unfortunately for us, most of the jokes don’t work, and there seems to be way too much effort to “hip-hop” the whole thing up (then again, that’s their target market, I suppose…the young’ens). All in all, I was expecting a lot more from this movie considering that the romantic comedy genre was ripe enough to be made fun of, big-time. Sadly, this film feels like it was banged out a little too quickly (by 2 of the 6 writers from SCARY MOVIE, they joke—maybe they should have hired the 4 funnier ones!), and ultimately didn’t come through in major laughs or ratio of jokes that worked versus jokes that bombed. Check it out on video if you enjoy the genre, but even then…lower your expectations or drink a lot before you watch it. Alyson Hannigan was a trooper though. Oh, and remember: “I’m Hitch, bitch!”
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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