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Overall Rating
3.48

Awesome: 26.09%
Worth A Look: 21.74%
Average34.78%
Pretty Bad: 8.7%
Total Crap: 8.7%

1 review, 17 user ratings


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Blind Date (1987)
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by Chris Parry

"Misfires like an Uzi dipped in porridge."
3 stars

As a dumb, stupid kid with absolutely no knowledge of what made a good movie different from a bad one (I paid to see Hot Dog - and loved it!), there was a time in my life when I could say, with a completely straight face, that Blind Date was the best movie I had ever seen. Seriously, I used to say those words to people. I even remember their confused faces when I'd do so, and having to say the words, "No, seriously." In fact, I was making that bold statement right up until I caught Ferris Bueller's Day Off, some time around 1989. Then I saw Heathers soon after. Then I saw Clerks not long after that. With those films under my belt, nothing would be the same. Thus it dawned on me that Blind Date simply wasn't up to standard, and I've never said anything nice about it since. But hey, if you never got out of the tenth grade, have some mild developmental retardation that causes you to stare at bright lights, and think Kim Bassinger is, like, totally hot, by all means knock yourself out. It's not like you'll have to reserve it at the video store...

Walter (Bruce Willis) is a geek. A total business nerd, completely swept up in the mid-80's drive to succeed and accumulate material wealth, he finds himself in a crunch. See, Walter is entertaining an important business associate from Japan in a few hours, and he doesn't have a wife. Apparently this is important to his Japanese associate, so Walter's brother Ted (Phil "how we miss you" Hartman) sets him up on a blind date with his wife's cousin, Nadia (Kim "slept with Eminem" Bassinger), who is in town and looking to have fun. And, like, totally hot.

There's just one piece of advice given to Walter before he sets out on his adventure - "Don't give her alcohol... She goes crazy when she drinks alcohol."

Is it just me, or could you imagine Ashton Kutcher and Brittany Murphy remaking this story RIGHT NOW?

So, of course, panicky Walter gives Nadia a glass of champagne and she soon turns into Linda Blair's evil cousin, ruining his business meeting, breaking up the Japanese businessman's marriage, insulting the occasional French waiter and generally being a total imitation of my father's second wife. (Hi Pam, if you're reading!)

From here, all you need to know is there's a ton of slapstick humor, a ton of non-humor humor, John Laroquette playing the jealous ex-boyfriend and the requisite rom-com ending. Oh, and Bassinger gets soaked in the swimming pool and she's, like, totally hot.

Blind Date's real problem is that it simply fails to translate past the late 80's. Director Blake Edwards must take a hefty portion of blame for the failures of the film, as he's re-used a whole whack of set pieces that he'd actually done better, earlier, in movies that didn't suck nearly as much. While the humor that does work in Blind Date is genuinely 'oh my god' funny (and some of it really is that good), for the most part it seems to be merely a star vehicle designed to get two TV stars on screen with a Bond Girl.

Though she couldn't act worth a darn, Bassinger is so 80's in this film that she invokes giggles just from her appearance. I mean sure, she's, like, totally hot, but she's also hiding behind a mane of hair that was about as 'in style' a year later as that diagonal red hat she wore in My Stepmother is an Alien. You know the one I'm talking about... if you don't, look it up.

Blind Date starts with a one-line premise (man goes on blind date with terrible drunk) and does nothing more with that premise from there than reverse it (man on blind date gets drunk to show terrible drunk what she's done to him) and cap it all with a stock standard ending (you may kiss the drunk). Which means it really relies on humor to convince an audience they haven't been had. And that's a bad thing when your jokes are old.

Blind Date's third act routine of slamming doors, pratfalls, changing rooms and 'where did she go' confusion is straight out of Edwards' Victor/Victoria, not to mention any of the Marx Brothers' better works. The 'look what trouble you get into when you drink' routine was done in Edwards' Dudley Moore starmaker, 10. And the continuing battle with funny jokes, kinda funny jokes and really not very funny jokes will remind many of the director's downward slide trying to squeeze every drop of soul out of the Pink Panther series.

Blind Date is a simple concept played out in a most simple way, with seemingly little care about trying to do anything more than finish the thing. It pains me that people with concepts this weak sell them to movie studios every day for thousands of dollars, because really this is so far from art, it may as well be professional football. Every stereotype is played out in full (of course the Japanese businessman has a geisha for a wife), every joke is played out until it's no longer funny, and any evil that bad guy John Laroquette is supposed to display is swallowed whole by his overwhelming teddy-bear-ness. Seriously, if Laroquette threatened me with a gun, I'd assume it was a Super-Soaker and come at him with the garden hose.

Which is not to say Laroquette stinks here. Quite the opposite in fact, he's the best thing about the film. If there's one aspect of comedy that Laroquette knows, it's how to sell a joke. And these jokes need some selling, I'll tell ya.

Oddly, Willis, who pretty much stunk up the joint, went on to become a multi-millionaire action hero, and Laroquette, who didn't stink, went on to host basic cable TV programs about collecting stuffed animals, so who says talent doesn't win out in the end?

Blind Date is a funny movie - but only in parts. As a Sunday afternoon Superstation time waster, it'll do the job every bit as well as an episode of Moonlighting or Night Court would, but any aims beyond that level are seriously misplaced. I may have once been able to call this movie "hilarious," but anyone in this current millenium who could say the same thing should be viewed with abject suspicion. Preferably from a distance. With a Super-Soaker handy.

link directly to this review at https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=3531&reviewer=1
originally posted: 08/28/03 15:30:21
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User Comments

12/29/17 morris campbell not bad 4 stars
12/25/16 Anne at times uneven, at times hilarious satire/parody with several themes 4 stars
2/17/12 PAUL SHORTT UNFUNNY, UNIMAGINATIVE, UNMEMORABLE 1 stars
10/28/06 MP Bartley Hilarious. Larroquette is Oscar worthy. "You son of a bitch!" 4 stars
2/28/05 Jeff Anderson Hysterically funny in parts, sick & embarrassing in others! Larroquette IS BRILLIANT!!!!!!! 3 stars
10/11/04 eden shore very little to recommend it. 2 stars
5/30/04 VerryTopless no, really, it was great. 5 stars
5/22/04 John only sporadically funny - Edwards in decline 2 stars
5/10/04 hiky It's really romantic and funny and realistic and has crime worth watching wit m8s 5 stars
2/05/04 pineappleG STILL LOVE IT! 5 stars
9/11/03 filmfatale It was entertaining but only once. 3 stars
1/01/03 Jack Sommersby The best comedy of all-time! Pure genius. 5 stars
10/17/02 Charles Tatum I wish I was blind after watching this 1 stars
4/30/02 Kim Louder hillarious 5 stars
1/01/02 Andrew Carden Unfunny, but Extremly Charming and Realistic Romance. 4 stars
9/16/01 Butterbean This movie was a lot of fun to watch! Especially while watching Larquette moonwalk! 5 stars
8/11/00 Big Jon's Toe I laughed so hard I puked! Laraquette is hilarious! 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  02-Mar-1987 (PG-13)

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