More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Advertisement

Overall Rating
1.71

Awesome: 7.06%
Worth A Look: 3.53%
Average: 7.06%
Pretty Bad: 17.65%
Total Crap64.71%

6 reviews, 49 user ratings



Date Movie
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Peter Sobczynski

"Shockingly, there are a couple of flaws with this one."
1 stars

There are some movies that need to be seen in a theater in order to be fully appreciated–“King Kong” and “The New World” immediately spring to mind. Other movies may not be worth the full price of a ticket but are perfectly acceptable for the more forgiving environs of cable or home video–I might have felt foolish if I had paid full freight for the likes of “The Pink Panther” but it contains enough entertainment value to make it worth the price of a rental. However, there hasn’t yet been a system developed that could properly deal with the likes of the stridently appalling “Date Movie”–though a septic system comes pretty close. If you encountered it in a theater, you would immediately run from the auditorium to sneak into whatever was playing next door, even if you were watching it in a single-scene auditorium. If you came upon it on home video, you might consider an immediate upgrade to a format that it isn’t yet available on and if it turned up on cable, you’d cancel your subscription and crack out the rabbit ears in order to avoid it. A witless spoof of recent romantic comedies, this is a film so bad that I would willingly sit through every single film that gets lampooned in its entirety without a break rather than endure a second viewing and yes, I say that knowing full well that such a pledge would require me to sit through “Napoleon Dynamite” again.

Like “Airplane!,” “The Naked Gun!” and “Scary Movie” before it, “Date Movie” takes a shotgun approach to its comedy–it throws out dozens of jokes and references to other movies and prays that some of them stick. The vague plot revolves around the comically rocky courtship between ugly-duckling-turned-beautiful-swan Julia (Alyson Hannigan) and bemused British dolt Grant (Adam Campbell) covering the seven days from when they meet to when they marry. (See, the fact that the whole thing happens in about a week or so is one of the funny parts.) Of course, this is just a pretense to throw in bits spoofing any number of date movies, including the likes of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” “Hitch,” “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “The Wedding Planner,” “What Women Want,” “Say Anything” and the proverbial many more. Apparently, there just haven’t been enough romantic comedies over the years and so the film is forced to stray outside its target for sources of humor by poking fun at “Kill Bill,” “Dodgeball,” “Twin Peaks,” “Meet the Parents,” “The Lord of the Rings”and, most bewildering of all, the krumping documentary “Rize.” When that gets tiresome, the film decides to celebrate the classic comedic tropes by giving us “hilarious” jokes revolving around such unpleasant subject matter as farts, bumfights, enormous zits, hepatitis and that Paris Hilton burger commercial.<

The result is a film that fails so totally in its presumed mission–to make viewers laugh–that it could serve as a textbook example of how not to do a parody film. For starters, the filmmakers don’t seem to have any identifiable stance or opinion towards the films they are skewering. When the ZAZ team made the still-brilliant “Airplane!,” they took enough care in crafting a film that mercilessly mocked the films of its time–specifically the cheesy disaster films of the 1970's–in a direct and specific manner and yet did so with jokes that were broad enough so that they would remain funny to audiences a quarter-century removed from the likes of the “Airport” movies. “Date Movie,” by comparison, belongs to the contemporary school of parody (and from the looks of too many recent spoofs, it must be a remedial school) that suggests if you just restage a scene from a recent movie with wackier performers and perhaps a fart joke or two, it will earn laughs from slack-jawed cretins who will look at them and say “Hey, that is like the part in (insert infinitely better film title here)–I get it!” As a result, we get a scene inspired by “Hitch” that is virtually indistinguishable from the original except that the Will Smith character is played here by a black midget. Later, there is a moment goofing on “The Wedding Planner” featuring a character named Jello (get it?) who has a behind slightly larger than her predecessor. This wouldn’t be so bad if the scenes had something to say about the films they were mocking but they come off more like the rejects from an especially smutty junior-high talent show.

Even when the film comes across a seemingly foolproof joke, it doesn’t know what to do with it. There is a moment inspired by one of the most famous scenes in the history of date movies–the bit in “Say Anything” in which John Cusack tries to win back Ione Skye (mmmm . . . Ione Skye!) by holding his boom box aloft while playing Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.” A classic image and I suspect that you or I could come up with something funny to do inspired by it–maybe his batteries are dying or the only CD he brought along was Lou Reed’s infamously abrasive “Metal Machine Music.” Here, the guy just stands there blasting some dull pop song while people throw things at him while complaining that it is late and that they are trying to watch “Desperate Housewives.”

A bigger flaw is that while the premise of a gross-out spoof of such movies may sound like a good idea in theory, it doesn’t make a lot of sense in practice. First of all, most of the movies lampooned have hardly gone on to become deathless and easily recognizable classics–even if you are Jennifer Lopez, I sincerely doubt that you have given much thought to “The Wedding Planner” in the years since its release–and you begin to wonder why anyone would bother to make fun of them in the first place. (Eventually, the film is reduced to giving hints as to what is being mocked–at the mid-point of a long, unfunny riff of “What Women Want,” we hear a character say, apropos of nothing, “This is like a bad Mel Gibson movie.”) The ones that have gone on to last, such as “When Harry Met Sally” and “Pretty Woman,” are so far back in the relative past that it is likely that most of the target audience–for whom film history begins with “The Phantom Menace”–are going to have no idea of what is supposed to be funny about that guy making funny noises in the restaurant. For that matter, who is the target audience for a film like this. Those with an appreciation for the likes of “Bridget Jones’ Diary” or “Sweet Home Alabama” are unlikely to find themselves in the audience for a gross-out comedy featuring a cat humping a mummified corpse while those who enjoy such things wouldn’t be caught dead watching the films inspiring the humor and will have virtually no frame of reference for the jokes.

In fact, as a public service, I will now provide a brief list of some of the infinite number of things that are funnier than anything on display in “Date Movie.” Feel free to clip and save.

1. Any solo album from Roger Waters.
2. Standing in line at the DMV.
3. Any randomly-selected episode of “Small Wonder”
4. Shooting a lawyer/Republican booster in the face with a shotgun and then mysteriously covering up the incident for nearly 24 hours.
5. Working at the KFC located right next door to PETA’s national headquarters.


The saddest thing about “Date Movie” is that there are actually a few talented people here who appear for no other explainable reason than that they presumably have big mortgages to pay (“The Yuppie Nuremberg Defense,” to quote the infinitely funnier upcoming film “Thank You For Smoking”), though this experience may cause them to once again consider renting. Hannigan, best known for playing the adorable Willow on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” is charming and adorable enough to deserve a shot in a real romantic comedy but while she is clearly has no qualms about doing foolish and silly things for the camera, she is misused so completely that you wind up feeling sorry for her and not her character. (For her sake, I hope that she was at least allowed to keep the fetching yellow jumpsuit she wears during the “Kill Bill” bit.) The usually invaluable Fred Willard makes an appearance and demonstrates that even he can be struck dumb by a script that provides him with nothing of value to work from. There is even a brief appearance at the end by the redoubtable Carmen Electra, in an especially egregious riff on “King Kong,” that seems to exist only to demonstrate that her presence is all but required in a crude spoof such as this–or at least the ones too cheap to meet Pamela Anderson’s quote.

The funniest thing about “Date Movie”–a film that is at least technically supposed to be a comedy–is that the posters are proudly announcing the fact that it was written by two of the six credited writers on “Scary Movie,” though it doesn’t get around to mentioning that neither has had a screenplay produced since. How to explain this, especially since there isn’t a single moment in the film that demonstrates that even a single writer came anywhere near it? My theory is that they decided to use the same idea as the two killers in “Scream”–by having two people working together, each can claim that all the stupid stuff was the fault of the other. Of course, if they wanted such a scheme to work, perhaps they should have remembered to put something in the script that was actually worth taking credit for in the first place.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=14011&reviewer=389
originally posted: 02/18/06 09:28:03
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

2/17/10 JM Synth Painfully unfunny, but not as abysmally cheap/lazy as future Friedberg/Seltzer efforts 2 stars
2/16/09 Samantha Pruitt pretty stupid, but still some what funny! 3 stars
1/15/09 FrankNFurter As funny as watching puppies drown.Total waste of film!!! 1 stars
1/08/09 Shaun Wallner Hilarious Movie! 5 stars
8/30/08 David The movie's funny if your brain-dead. 1 stars
6/08/08 PAUL SHORTT AS TERRIBLE AND SLIPSHOD A FILM AS ONE COULD IMAGINE 1 stars
6/06/08 Randy War Hall This Movie made my ears sad. 1 stars
4/05/08 art IT"S FUNNY IF YOU KEEP AN OPEN MIND 4 stars
3/25/08 Isaac M. Baranoff One of the most awful films I've ever attempted to sit through. 1 stars
3/08/08 ftard These directors make tailor made amusement for trailer/white trash films. 1 stars
3/02/08 John Millheim pretty funny 4 stars
7/09/07 fools&#9835;gold Wow, this and Final Destination 3 came out in the same month. Now wasn't that a funny line? 1 stars
5/23/07 Abs Dumbest movie ever. Nothing to enjoy at all here. 1 stars
5/15/07 David Pollastrini PRETTY DUMB 2 stars
4/03/07 brent gerald mejia sr. Eddie Griffin stars;ENOUGH said! 1 stars
2/22/07 Beau i love the openeing song and dance 'Hannigan' does, its worth watching it 4 her 3 stars
1/18/07 del Quite possibly one of the worst movies ever made. 1 stars
12/22/06 ES note the writers and avoid everything they do in the future 1 stars
11/07/06 wesley sniper Dude, Lakehurst is one word. We still love ya! The movie sucked ass. 1 stars
10/31/06 Jacko wacko Poorly classified but okay 3 stars
10/31/06 Chris I worked at Taco Bell so Taco was was just funny 5 stars
10/25/06 Drew G I almost made it 15 minutes into this movie 1 stars
10/24/06 Phil LOL @ Jon (below) 1 stars
10/03/06 Jon Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad. Horrible movie. Why can't I give it zero stars? 1 stars
8/26/06 Stanley Thai An underrated film that is taken so seriously. People, just relax and enjoy the film! 3 stars
8/25/06 BENNY I LOVED WATCHING THE LOVELY VOLUPTIOUS YOUN CARMEN ELECTRA BEING SACRIFICED TO KING KONG. I 2 stars
8/18/06 Nix So funny I shit myself 5 stars
8/17/06 Harold I am completely without words...I really am. STAGGERINGLY bad...staggeringly... 1 stars
8/11/06 michael has a couple moments but not woth paying for 3 stars
8/06/06 Indrid Cold The upside is that aside from the ending credits, it's only a little over an hour long. 2 stars
8/02/06 dan quite funny,worth a look 3 stars
7/21/06 Joe Smaltz Sucks SucksSucksSucksSucksSucksSucksSucksSucksSucksSucksSucksSucksSucks 1 stars
6/12/06 Jeff Anderson Unfunny junk & DOA. Hannigan & ONLY Hannigan is the lone great thing in this! 1 stars
6/11/06 Ryan_A I laughed. A lot. But I felt bad about it afterwards. Not as funny as it thinks it is. 2 stars
6/10/06 The Thomas Family My family thought this movie was awesome! It kept us laughing. 5 stars
4/19/06 FRED THE ONLY THING THAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS MOVIE IS WATCHING CARMEN ELECTRA BEING SACRIFICED 2 stars
4/18/06 Erika Clarkson Way too lame - no real nudity, scatlolgical humor restricted to cat, no farting girls. Darn 4 stars
4/14/06 Duffyboy666 How can these bastards live with themselves? 1 stars
4/08/06 Astrocreep Sooo damn funny. Great Napolean impression 5 stars
3/30/06 Rhiannon This film rocks!! 5 stars
3/13/06 date movie sucks crap movie 1 stars
3/11/06 Dillon None of the scenes have real endings. I laughed a little, but not enough. 2 stars
3/05/06 jeff s. openning dance was good, thats about it.sad how they let it b released 1 stars
3/05/06 chris f this film is a let down they take the piss out of michael jackson -tats just wrong 2 stars
3/04/06 Green Gremlin How dare they insult "Napoleon Dynamite" with this hideous crap !!! 1 stars
3/03/06 Mungface Someone told me this was "freaking hilarious"...I killed them. 1 stars
2/22/06 djacosta Utterly disgusting 1 stars
2/20/06 M The cat is the only thing that remotely made me laugh. 1 stars
2/18/06 Eevil Wolfie Opening dance sequence is good. Everything else is crap. 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:


Discuss this movie in our forum

USA
  17-Feb-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 30-May-2006

UK
  24-Feb-2006

Australia
  16-Feb-2006




Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
eFilmCritic.com: Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast