Date MovieReviewed By brianorndorf
Posted 02/17/06 19:41:35
As if the parody genre is already sketchy enough in terms of artistic integrity, “Date Movie” is another reminder that not everyone with a camera and a half-assed screenplay can make one of these films click. It goes without saying that this crude, desperate comedy goes for long stretches without laughs. But the film tries hard to be hilarious, revealing the filmmakers are unable to achieve even the simplest of goals.Let’s face it, spoofs are easy to make. You don’t have to be a very talented filmmaker to throw together a series of scenes that poke fun at more successful movies. Where once the ZAZ teamed ruled the genre in the 1980s with their thoughtfully planned out and agreeably goofy films (“Airplane!”), talent like the Wayans Brothers are now the barometer for satirical success. This might explain why “Date Movie” is such a scattershot and ultimately deplorable comedy, and a thoroughly uninspired parody.
It’s just February, and we’ve already found a film worse than “BloodRayne.” I didn’t think it would happen that fast, but here we are.
The goal of “Date Movie” is to send up romantic comedies, centered on our protagonist, Julie Jones (Alyson Hannigan), a young woman who lives a very “Bridget Jones’s Diary” existence. Looking for love, Julie asks for help from Lil’ Hitch (Tony Cox), who assists in pimping her out from the control of her Greek family (including Eddie Griffin), and pushes her into the arms of Grant Fonckyerdoder (Adam Campbell). The two fall in love and are soon to be wed, but not if Grant’s former fiancée (a stunning Sophie Monk) has anything to say about it.
“Date Movie” comes from the minds of Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg, who have both made an entire career out of writing parody screenplays (“Scary Movie,” “Spy Hard”). “Date Movie” marks their directorial debut, and I can’t imagine a worse way to start off a film career than with this continuously atrocious comedy. This is a film that doesn’t aim high to begin with, stuffed to the gills with enough flatulence, sex, and random body defect humor that you might think the filmmakers never made it past junior high in their critical funny bone development. Sadly, these gentlemen are in their 30s, and nothing pleases them more than to watch a puppet cat straining on a toilet, Hannigan running around in a fat suit (a tired concept way past its expiration date), Eddie Griffin regurgitating chest hair he’s swallowed, or Carmen Electra being felt up by a giant ape finger. Laughing yet?
The “Date Movie” targets for lampoon are all over the map. One minute the film is sending up the orgasm scene from “When Harry Met Sally” (take that 1989!), the next “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” is being raked over the coals. Burning through “The Wedding Planner” (the Jennifer Lopez look-alike has a giant behind), “Meet the Fockers” (Jennifer Coolidge and Fred Willard co-star), and “My Best Friend’s Wedding” for inspiration, the filmmaking duo start to get desperate, squeezing in awkward digs at “Napoleon Dynamite” (you see, his shirt reads “Don’t Vote for Pedro”), “Kill Bill,” and “Revenge of the Sith” just keep the audience awake. Television isn’t spared either, with “The Bachelor” and “Pimp My Ride” satires included for those in the audience who don’t make time for movies.
“Date Movie” is one missed gag after another. And when the filmmakers start to desperately call out their parodies, as they do when a “What Women Want” moment hits the screen, any good will towards the film is destroyed.This is appallingly bad cinema, made without imagination, and counting on audience indifference to succeed.
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