Movie review: ‘Date Movie’ a rehashing of film disasters

Janine Elliot

While the trailer previews for “Date Movie” appeared promising prior to its theatrical release last week, the film as a whole delivered substantial stupid-humor performances by “Buffy” alum Alyson Hannigan and Adam Campbell that, while not Oscar-worthy, were good for a reasonable amount of laughs.

Reminiscent of the “Scary Movie” trilogy of films (“Date Movie” was penned by the same crew of writers), “Date Movie” parodied some of this year’s most popular romantic comedies, including “Hitch,” “Meet the Fockers,” and “The Wedding Planner.”

Within the first ten minutes of the film, barley a mutter of laughter came from the audience, who seemingly sat in shocked silence for the full 80 minutes duration of the film.

At many instances there was the potential for a funny scene, but the majority of the jokes remained predictable, obvious, or just simply took too long to get to the punch line. In fact, some of the scenes were chock full of tasteless humor and downright embarrassing to watch. Just to give you a taste of what “Date Movie” entails, picture Alyson Hannigan’s character, Julia Jones, running around in a fat suit, an older woman who gets much “closer” to her pet than one would like to imagine and lastly, Eddie Grffin’s character regurgitating another man’s chest hair. If that hasn’t turned you off already, what will?

At some points, it felt as though the writers were simply reenacting clips from movies like “Meet the Fockers,” “When Harry Met Sally,” and “The Wedding Planner.” The film even attempted to take a stab at parodying the characters in a movie that can hardly be categorized as a romantic comedy and one without much plot of its own to begin with, “Napoleon Dynamite.”

“Date Movie” recycled many of the same jokes from this past year’s romantic comedies, this time with different characters attempting to improve upon them, but failing horribly. In one particular scene, Hannigan visits Lil’ Hitch aka “The Date Doctor” played by Tony Cox. Desperate to find herself a man, Julia allows Hitch to set her up with Grant Fonckyerdoder played by Adam Campbell. As Lil’ Hitch attempts to teach Julia a thing or two about how to attract the attention of a man on the dance floor, Julia proceeds to recreate rather than parody the ever so popular “q-tip” dance made famous by Kevin James’ character in “Hitch.”

What the writers of “Date Movie” accomplished in that entire scene was nothing more than essentially reusing a joke and making it unfunny. Perhaps the major problem with this movie is it attempted to make fun of jokes that were already funny to begin with. All in all, if this is your first date movie, it could also be your last. The bottom line on “Date Movie”: play it safe and make it dinner and a rental.

Our rating: One star (out of five)