Okay, it is time to declare
a moratorium on comedies that think that it is enough to just stitch
together a bunch of scenes from other movies to mock weakly.
Date Movie is not merely a bad movie — it is a medley of uninteresting
moments from lots of kind-of-good-to-not-that-great movies, including My
Big Fat Greek Wedding, Meet the Parents/Fockers, Bridget Jones's Diary,
Hitch, Pretty Woman, When Harry Met Sally, The Wedding Planner, Mr. & Mrs.
Smith, Along Came Polly, What Women Want, even
The Lord of the Rings, King Kong and Kill Bill.
As you can see, Date
Movie is a satire on romantic comedies. Which makes one wonder —
what exactly is the point in trying to satirize movies that were already
(well, at least some of them were) funny. Also, what exactly is
comical about making references — often repeating entire chunks of dialogue
other films without bothering to add something to the mix?
We've seen most of the
movies already — and frankly many of them weren't good on their own — but
at least the scenes made some sort of sense in the bigger scope of their
stories. Here it is all smashed together with no rhyme or reason,
completely formless and nearly free of laughs. Oh, sure, you throw out
enough jokes some will connect. In all fairness Date Movie had
maybe three or four legitimate laughs, but considering the amount of shots
they take, that's a pretty sad batting average.
The Naked Gun. Those movies also threw out dumb jokes and did
satirize older films, but they never stooped to the lazy writing and lack of
form that Date Movie does. It's hard to believe that
this film comes from the genre of goofy satires like
Date Movie wears its
mediocrity like a badge — the poster brags that it is from two of the six
writers of Scary Movie. Of course, the real selling point would
be if it said that the movie was made by lots of people who had nothing to
do with the Scary Movie series. These two writers, Jason
Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer (I have to name them because they deserve to be
held accountable for their crimes) also work together as co-directors.
It took TWO people to direct this???
Beyond being not
particularly funny, the movie is surprisingly mean-spirited. In one
scene where we are following our couple on their first date, they are
walking down a romantic park road when she suggests they "bum punch."
He (and the audience) looks confused until she walks up to a nearby homeless
guy and hits him in the face. Then the two of them laughingly beat on
the man, hitting him, kicking him, gouging him and eventually stealing his
wallet and skipping off laughing. Okay, I understand they did
something unexpected there. They made you expect one thing and did
another. However, shock value is not humor and there is nothing at all
funny about assaulting a vagrant.
Shock value is on overdrive
here however. There are more toilet jokes, fart jokes, fat jokes and zit
jokes than you can possibly count. There is even a scene — the most disgusting
moment of a film full of horrifying occurrences — in which a cat attempts to
have sex with a mummified corpse. Who finds this humorous? And
what does it say about the writers that they find it amusing?
The only thing barely watchable about the
film is the star. Alyson Hannigan throws herself into her role gamely
and does her best to lift the material to passable status — but no one
could make Date Movie funny.
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Posted: March 7, 2006.