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"Date Movie"

Directed by Aaron Seltzer.
Written by Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg.
Starring Alyson Hannigan, Adam Campbell, Sophie Monk and Eddie Griffin.
Release Year:  2006
Review Date:  2/19/06

Folks-- 

Holy fucking shit.

After deciding to bite the bullet and see the new romantic comedy spoof "Date Movie", I knew that I might be in for trouble...but, damn, this much trouble?

Alyson Hannigan (a veteran of the sophomoric teen comedy genre, no doubt) stars as Julia Jones, an overweight black/Indian/Japanese/Jewish white girl that waitresses for her parents' restaurant.  Feeling so bad for herself and her chances to ever meet Mr. Right, she enlists the help of a date doctor named Hitch (Tony Cox) to figure out how to win the heart of Grant (Adam Campbell), a British guy that she met in her restaurant.  After Hitch pimps her ride by making over her body, Julia sets out to marry the new man of her dreams...by the end of the week.  Getting in the way?  A hot model (Sophie Monk), Grant's crazy parents (played by Fred Willard and Jennifer Coolidge), and her dad (Eddie Griffin), who wants her to marry the restaurant's nasty-lookin' handyman.

As you can guess, this plot is all or nothing, and sadly, it was mostly nothing for me.  The movies that are ripped off in this parody--dogshit.  Trying to meld basically random movies over the last five years (yeah, you thought it would just be romantic comedies, too?), the writers of "Date Movie" just threw a random bowl of shit at the wall and figured some of it would have to work...so, we get not only "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", "Hitch", "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and other date-ish flicks, we also get "Kill Bill Vol. I", "Mr. and Mrs. Smith", "Napoleon Dynamite", "King Kong" and even "The Lord of the Rings."  At least with the "Scary Movie" series--"Date Movie" is the spinoff of that franchise--they stuck mostly to horror movies, and threw in a few random jokes from other films.  Here, the writers don't seem to know many actual romantic comedies from which to steal, so they just pick a bunch of shit and think that we'll laugh in-between gross-out jokes.

And laugh, I did not.

First of all, the fucking movie is only 80 minutes long.  That is WITH THE CREDITS.  If you take away the endless amount of flashback scenes in "Date Movie", you probably only have about a 60-to-65-minute film here.  That's amazing to me.  That ends up being a blessing, because this flaming horseshit is so bad, but if I had paid $9.50 to see this motherfucker I would have set the theater on fire after walking out.  You couldn't find 90 minutes' worth of material for this bullshit?  Then, you get some of the worst comedic transitions ever.  Even if folks had been laughing after certain bits of dialogue, we're still waiting too long for the next line delivery, which is a problem when you only have about 80 minutes of material.  Run-on jokes also aim to kill "Date Movie"; having the hot model rub cheeseburgers onto a car's dash four times, instead of just once, made a dumb gag unbearable.

FUCK!

Hannigan, who has quite the nerd following after doing the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" series, will get her fans into the theater, but I would guess even the fanboys will be angry with Hannigan for signing on to such a dog...but, I guess a paycheck is a paycheck if you've never been the top billing star on a major motion picture.  The rest of the cast seems to be working hard to offend in any way possible, and while their gross-out sight gags are quite nasty, their actual scripted lines were often following by tumbleweed blowing in the aisles of my half-full theater.  What the fuck is Fred Willard doing in this film?  What the fuck is Eddie Griffin doing in a film that shoots lower than even "Deuce Bigalow 2: European Gigolo"?  Even fuckin' L'il Jon shows up for a dumbass cameo midway through the movie...what the fuck is going on here?

Now, I will admit--there is one absolutely hilarious shot, but it's not enough to save this thing from the depths of misery.  Borrowing from the trend started with Keenan Ivory Wayans' "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka", there's a scene where a stunt double is used for Hannigan (who is a white redhead) that is absolutely, 100% black and probably a guy...and I was fucking howling when they showed this scene.  Judging from the lack of laughter in my theater, I think almost everyone missed the gag, but I didn't, and I'm a happier man for it.  The film's other saving grace:  the trailer for "Nacho Libre", the new film from the guy that did "Napoleon Dynamite."  I can already tell this has a chance for minor Hollywood magic.

Besides this, "Date Movie" is near-complete fucking misery.  Avoid this at all costs!

Rating:  Hard Vice

 

Comments?  Drop me a line at justin@bellviewmovies.com.

 

Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/bellviewmovies.com except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09