Date Movie (2006) / Comedy-Romance
MPAA Rated: PG-13 for crude humor, sexual humor, and language (I'd rate this R)
Running Time: 80 min.
Cast: Alyson Hannigan, Adam Campbell, Eddie Griffin, Sophie Monk, Tony Cox, Fred Willard, Jennifer Coolidge, Valery M. Ortiz, Carmen Electra
Director: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
Screenplay: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
Review published February 20, 2006
There are probably few movies worse to sit through than a painfully unfunny joke-a-second comedy, and while Date Movie may be many things, funny is not one of them. It's about two dozen or so scenes lampooned from well-known popular romantic comedies, and lots of prurient filler in between.
At 80 minutes, one might make the assumption that lots of trimming was involved in taking out what test audiences didn't like or understand, while also editing for content to get down to a PG-13 (the MPAA was VERY generous in not rating this R). However, when one actually watches the film, it doesn't really appear like it is trimmed down at all; in fact, it is quite the opposite. Despite its meager running time, Date Movie is ridiculously padded to the max with scenes that go on long past their amusement value, with a copious amount of cheesecake montages that aren't funny so much as an attempt to give the men in the audience their "Maxim" moments of gratuitous flashes of skin. If one removes the overlong end credits, superfluous flashbacks, and other scenes that are kept going just to beef up the time, you wouldn't even have a movie that were an hour long. If one were to remove anything that wasn't funny, one might not even have enough footage to make a trailer to promote the film.
Why they bothered trying to cater to the male audience, I'll never know, since Date Movie should have been geared toward the audience that loves and memorizes every second from the best romantic comedies, women. Considering women should have been able to relate to this most, this is a terribly misogynistic experience. Instead of coming out of the theater smiling, women will probably end up feeling worse about themselves than they were going in, especially those with weight issues. If you're going to employ insults in your comedy, the first rule is to never let the audience actually feel sorry for the target, and Date Movie is so vicious in its attacks on anyone that isn't a WASP waif-thin blonde beach bunny with plastic parts, it actually has the effect of causing sadness, or in my case, anger, rather than laughs.
Date Movie is written and directed by two of the six writers credited for the first Scary Movie, but given the execution here, my guess is that these two are responsible for the parts that didn't work. They do follow the same basic formula, throwing in as many gross-out gags as possible, including an inordinate obsession with people engaging in romantic relationships with animals. God forbid that a woman's bare breasts would ever be shown in a PG-13 movie, but it's ok to have a cat fornicating with a dead grandmother's decomposed remains.
Here's the only way I can recommend this film to anyone: if you find the thought of a cat "sharting" into a toilet for over a minute to be the height of hilarity, then nothing I have typed should dissuade you from seeing this "funny" movie. For the 99.9% of the rest of the world, Date Movie is, at best, a mostly unfunny comedy, and at worst, the most degrading and downright offensive experience ever put on celluloid. Despite branching out into spoofing a different genre, Friedberg and Seltzer have created a far more frightening experience than any of the movies they parodied in Scary Movie. Date Movie stinks so bad, you'll have the urge to light a match in the theater.
©2006 Vince Leo