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Date Movie
2006 - PG-13 - 83 Mins.
Director: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
Producer: Paul Schiff
Written By: Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer
Starring: Alyson Hannigan, Adam Campbell, Jennifer Coolidge, Tony Cox, Fred Willard
Review by: Bill King
Official Site:

Stunt doubles for Uma Thurman and Daryl Hannah
'Date Movie' announces itself as being from two of the six writers of 'Scary Movie.' This just goes to show that 'Scary Movie' was good because of the other four writers, and not because of these two guys. 'Date Movie' is a lifeless mess that begins while running on fumes, and ends as if the gas tank had already emptied out halfway through. Watching it was like watching a dog stuck in a bear trap. It whimpers to express its pain and tries fruitlessly to free itself until it just gives up. After what seemed like an eternity, I looked at my watch and was amazed that not even one hour had elapsed.

The movie parody is an interesting animal. They all basically do the same thing, which is to lift scenes from other movies, pass them through a comedic filter, and then insert them into a new narrative. The result is an absurd assemblage of familiar scenes, but with the twist that they are now serving a new purpose. That being said, how do movies follow this rule and then come away with varying degrees of quality? Like in any other genre, what separates the good parodies from the bad ones comes down to craftsmanship. 'Date Movie' sucks. Directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer can't stage comedy, can't write jokes, lack imagination, and extend scenes beyond the point of tolerance.

The script grabs freely from many sources, some of which aren't even date movies. This tendency goes back to the craftsmanship issue. Friedberg and Seltzer are unable to find enough inspiration within the genre they satirize, so they go looking for ideas elsewhere, preferably from recent hits in order to sucker us into thinking they stumbled onto something clever. 'Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story' and 'Kill Bill: Vol. 1' are dishonored, but a stupid joke involving 'Lord of the Rings' characters infuriates because it doesn't connect to the story at all. Its purpose is to add about twenty seconds of running time.

Much of the plot follows the outlines of 'Meet the Parents' and 'Meet the Fockers,' albeit loosely. Julia Jones (Alyson Hannigan) is an overweight girl who undergoes a makeover to lose weight and attract a potential boyfriend. Once that deed is accomplished, thanks to matchmaker Hitch (Tony Cox), Julia meets hunky Grant Funkyerdoder (Adam Campbell) on a reality TV show and begins dating him. He meets her parents while she meets his, and along the way we get one failed joke after another. Grant's ex-fiancée, Andy (Sophie Monk), makes her appearance with an elongated bikini scene that again does nothing except add more time to the narrative. That's a running problem throughout this catastrophe.

'Date Movie' is appalling. It surpasses another 2006 release, 'BloodRayne,' in terms of sheer badness. Other recent satires, like 'Not Another Teen Movie,' are uneven in their own ways, but they at least feature enough humorous content to justify their existence. Then you have garbage like 'Date Movie,' which is uninspired from beginning to end. Jokes in the foreground would have been relegated to the back burner as throwaway gags in another movie. It is not hyperbole to say that this is one of the worst films ever made.
Movie Guru Rating
Offensive and completely without value.  Should never have been released.
  0 out of 5 stars

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