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February 19, 2006
Movie Review: 'Date Movie"

Today is our 12th anniversary, and I wanted to take the FM out of the house for a while, even though she's not feeling too well at the moment. We decided to go to the movies, where she could relax and hopefully get a couple of laughs. The only comedy playing around us that showed at the right time was Date Movie, advertised rather charmingly as written by "2 of the 6 writers of Scary Movie!" Figuring the FM could use a couple of laughs, even cheap ones, we decided to see it.

I'm still waiting for my laughs.

The film stars the highly likable but poorly-managed Allison Hanigan, who debuted in the Dan Aykroyd-Kim Basinger stinker My Stepmother Is An Alien and hit the big time with the American Pie movies and the cult favorite Buffy the Vampire Slayer series. She teams up with Adam Campbell to satirize a large number of modern romances. It starts with Shallow Hal and then moves through My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Meet the Parents and its sequel Meet the Fockers, Hitch, When Harry Met Sally, and a lot of other movies which all have one thing in common that this movie lacks: they made people laugh.

I've seen some clunkers before; I sat all the way through Anger Management and Say Yes after buying tickets, but this one I almost left after the first thirty minutes. I stuck around DM just to see if it ever came up with even one funny gag, but aside from a laugh after the credits started rolling, it didn't. That one moment of actual wit came during a sequence when Hannigan and Campbell are supposedly seeing a counselor, who asks about their last sexual encounter, and the two characters explain how exactly the PG-13 MPAA rating restricts them to upper-body contact with clothes left on. I didn't expect As You Like It, but even a few flashes of Not Just Another Teen Movie would have been worth the price. It couldn't even meet those low expectations.

Joining Hannigan and Campbell for this embarrassment is Eddie Griffin, whose presence seems to doom every movie; Fred Willard and Jennifer Coolidge, apparently escaping from the Christopher Guest compound for a couple of weeks; Sophie Monk; and even Carmen Electra puts in an appearance in the final scene. She should be ashamed to be seen here, but not too many people will make it to the end.

Fortunately, we went home to spend the rest of the day relaxing. I bought some Buca di Beppo for dinner and we watched Parenthood for the laughs we missed at the cinema, and then I watched Serenity again for a reminder of the fun good movies can bring. If you insist on paying to see Date Movie, I'd suggest having some similar plans for a good antidote.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 19, 2006 9:28 PM

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