Extreme Dating (2004) / Comedy-Romance
MPAA Rated: R for brief nudity, comic violence and language (I'd rate it PG-13)
Running Time: 91 min.
Cast: Devon Sawa, Amanda Detmer, Andrew Keegan, Jamie-Lynn Sigler (DiScala), Meat Loaf, Ian Virgo, Lee Tergesen
Director: Lorena David
Screenplay: Jeff Schectman
Review published February 18, 2006
A funny premise, poorly executed; Extreme Dating aims low and stays in that mode for the entire running length. The premise mentioned deals with a concept whereby two people surrounded by a tense situation will come together naturally, especially if they are given lots of time to get to know one another in the interim. It works in the movies, but not really in this one, as the laughs are forced, and the plot lays dormant without much interest or inspiration. It looks like a sitcom, and plays like one, except at four times the length and half of the laughs of your typical TV comedy.
The main characters all work in the same trendy office, except that none of them seem to be having much luck finding an adequate relationship. Together they brainstorm a concept they dub "Extreme Dating", whereby a target "date' is chosen, and they are forced into a situation where they must spend time getting to know one another, and hopefully, a relationship ensues. The concept seems to hit a few snags, but they are sure their latest will work, involving a kidnapping plot where the two would-be lovebirds are tied to chairs for hours with nothing to do but talk to one another. However, the plan backfires when the kidnappers hired actually kidnap and hold the two for ransom for real.
An attractive but unremarkable cast headline this straight-to-video release, but none of them are particularly talented enough to make any of the resulting nonsense as funny as the makers of the film seemed to think it would be. This is Devon Sawa's second film in a row to exploit the "Extreme" name, but thankfully, this one fares better than Extreme Ops, although that doesn't say much at all. The performances are energetic, but with insipid dialogue and a vapid concept, the movie runs around in circles before finally expiring around half way through. The rest is just slapstick and tedium.
©2006 Vince Leo