Making the Grades
If you're looking for the perfectly offensive night out, then Date Movie should be at the top of your list. Not surprisingly, this latest installment from the same team of scribes who brought us the Scary Movie franchise, insults virtually every demographic imaginable. Jews, Blacks, gays, fat people, and Michael Jackson will all find reasons to walk out.
The story is merely a vehicle (best called a garbage truck), which delivers the film's sight gags and sexual innuendo. It centers on an obese girl named Julia (played by Alyson Hannigan, an attractive and seemingly capable actress in real need of new career direction) who is so desperate for a man she will flaunt her bouncy body in front of any guy she can find. The result is such a turn off that one of the construction workers she ogles responds by shooting himself in the head with a nail gun. And the laughs are only beginning...
After finding a date doctor named Hitch (Tony Cox)--one of the dozens of films parodied--she is led to an auto body shop where a team of guys uses tools and grinders to transform her big body into a sleek and sexy form. This new Julia can now go find the man of her dreams whom she met while working at her parents' restaurant.
The MPAA's rating description, "continuous crude humor," could be a bit misleading. Yes, it's true the crudities are continuous, and they are definitely crude, but the word humor may leave audiences wondering what they missed. Even for those who dwell in the targeted demographic range (i.e.: suburban teens and twenty-somethings who live at the local multiplex and have endured a few years of romantic comedies), there is dreadfully little in this film to chuckle at.
To begin, this genre has been done to death. The Farrelly Brothers (Dumb & Dumber) were well out of the gross-out gates before this creative team came into the game, and they knew when it was time to back off and begin making "normal" movies. Over the years, many others have banked on making low-budget comedies with the hopes teens will keep emptying their wallets.
If kids aren't already "burned out" from such imaginative scenes like seeing a man cough up chest hair balls, watching a couple brutally beat up a homeless drunk, or observing an obviously animatronic cat having a violent bowel movement; they may still feel left out of the laughs. Any hope at humor depends on having previously seen the films the script is parodying, and most of those were made before the birth of the popcorn munchers most likely to be in theaters. How many teens have seen Pretty Woman, Sleepless in Seattle, or My Best Friend's Wedding? The creators must have had similar concerns because a parody of Mel Gibson's What Women Want requires a character to explain which movie the joke is coming from.
While there are plenty of "artistic" reasons for parents to talk their kids out of seeing Date Movie, there is also nothing in this scant 83 minutes to provide even an inkling of a positive example. Near nudity, tasteless jokes involving bestiality and nearly every other sexual topic imaginable, offensive violence, derogatory racial remarks, and a few profanities makes this a date you won't want to repeat.