Date Movie
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E dir Aaron Seltzer
scr Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
with Alyson Hannigan, Adam Campbell, Eddie Griffin, Jennifer Coolidge, Fred Willard, Sophie Monk, Tony Cox, Judah Friedlander, Valery Ortiz, Meera Simhan, Mauricio Sanchez, Carmen Electra
release US 17.Feb.06,
UK 24.Feb.06
06/US Regency 1h15

Sight gag: Campbell and Hannigan

griffin coolidge willard

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Date Movie From the writers of Scary Movie and Spy Hard, here's another half-developed spoof that's only occasionally humorous simply because it's just not smart enough.

Julia Jones (Hannigan) is a Greek-Jewish-Japanese-Indian girl whose father (Griffin) wants her to marry a suitably ethnic guy (Friedlander), even though he's a loser. She gets advice from matchmaker Hitch (Cox), and she's soon smitten by the charming Brit Grant (Campbell), whose liberal-minded parents (Coolidge and Willard) welcome her. Julia and Grant hire the wedding planner Jell-O (Ortiz) for their upcoming nuptials. Then Grant's conniving best friend (Monk) shows up, determined to get him for herself.

Most of the film's jokes are in that paragraph. Spot the references to everything from My Big Fat Greek Wedding and My Best Friend's Wedding to The Wedding Planner and Meet the Parents. Then throw in gags relating to random things like Extreme Makeover and Pimp My Ride, Dodgeball and Pretty Woman, Mr & Mrs Smith and Kill Bill, King Kong and Lord of the Rings. Yes, it's all over the place, and the filmmakers don't seem to know when to cut a gag short and get on with things--every joke is stretched to the point where it ceases to be funny anymore.

The cast dives in gamely, and they just about escape with their dignity intact. Coolidge and Willard are the only ones who really goes for full-on parody; their Streisand-Hoffman shtick is by far the funniest thing in the film. And there are a few inspired moments that keep us chuckling, often unintentionally, as well as several scenes that make us gasp at the ineptness of it all.

The main problem is that the whole thing feels underdeveloped, like the writers just crammed in every joke they could think of, but never bothered to develop or anchor any of them. The filmmakers apparently don't understand that it takes time and effort to make comedy work, because they don't appear to have invested either. It feels badly rushed and fragmented, and as a result just isn't much fun to watch. Besides playing spot the film reference.

cert PG themes, innuendo, vulgarity, language 6.Feb.06

R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
send your review to Shadows... Date Movie megan, net: 3/5 "i don't know, there are a couple of funny parts, but that's about it. it's one of those movies that you watch when there is nothing else to watch." (13.Jul.06)
2006 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall