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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Satire > Date Movie – Unrated (Fox DVD)

Date Movie – Unrated


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C     Film: C



Since Airplane! (1980, reviewed elsewhere on this site) found a way to take the counter-narrative counterculture comedies of the 1960s & 1970s by reconfiguring them in a more readerly fashion, the hits that followed are still causing the studios to run out and make more of them hoping for more hits.  At this point, they are being made on the cheap and they even have funny, generic names.  Date Movie touts being “from 2 of the 6 writers of Scary Movie” in a way that the cheapness is now part of the joke and that also sends mixed signals about the film.


In this case, it says the film might be very stupid more than funny and that unfortunately is the case.  The film focuses on the obese Julia (Alison Hannigan) trying to find someone to love.  The opening credits combine spoofing the likes of the Hollywood Musical and Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing (1989) as she awkwardly Hip Hop dances to Kelis’ instant camp classic Milk Shake.  From there, the relationship between the mainstream Hollywood-style readerly narrative (read white) and Hip Hop culture (read black) has a tenuous relationship throughout and is also where the film has more hits than misses.


This is further complicated by light cheap shots at the female lead and amounts to a “little touch of misogyny” throughout, particularly when Julia is taken to a car garage ala the reality TV show Pimp My Ride (reviewed elsewhere on this site) where she is “re-customized” as a sexy woman or a “fine bitch!”  The actress then no longer has to wear the “fat” prosthetics, saving the production money.  The problem is that the film thinks the black/white split is in the 1980 Airplane! state, when 26 years later, the gap between the two has closed off thanks to Hip Hop, so most of the jokes are thuds.  With that said, there are a few jokes and in this Unrated edition, might we worth sitting through once.  But that’s not all.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image is softer than it should be for a new release and that actually gets in the way of the visual gags by making the viewer work harder to get the laughs.  That’s bad.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is not bad, but this is still about gags and director Aaron Seltzer is just not that savvy to use the sound fully for more laughs.  Extras include a game, the film in six minutes, audition tapes, three audio commentaries, 12 deleted scenes, dailies, screensavers, two featurettes and one other interesting option.  That is the audience laughing and reacting from an early test/premiere screening, which you can think of as a sort of “hamburger helper” to a film everyone involved knew had problems.  Fortunately, this laugh track like option produces some unexpected results Fox and producers seem to have missed, or they might have omitted this track.  It is the best way to watch the film first, if you must see it at all.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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