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Alyson Hannigan

Alyson Hannigan - "Date Movie" - Thisisnottingham.co.uk Review

Damon Smith

Sunday 26 February 2006, by Webmaster


If you foolishly take Aaron Seltzer’s spoof romantic comedy at its word, and drag along a potential boyfriend or girlfriend to Date Movie, then the relationship will be over before it has begun.

This crude and lewd tale of thwarted love and raging hormones is a tiresome, humourless affair that will put you in the mood for sleep rather than amour. Lampooning films is a precarious business at the best of times, relying on a savvy selection of source material and clever circumvention of our expectations.

Co-writers Seltzer and Jason Friedberg, two of the six writers of Scary Movie and Spy Hard (which just about says it all), make their task that much harder by spoofing comedies like Meet The Parents, Meet The Fockers and My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Not only do the co-writers have to mine laughs, they have to be different laughs from the original films.

Sad to say, apart from a couple of decent visual gags, Date Movie is found wanting.

Following the lead of Big Momma’s House 2, the film spends the first 10 minutes poking relentless fun at overweight people, including a dance sequence to Kelis’s ’Milkshake’.

Once the heroine has slimmed down, transformed from ugly duckling into dysfunctional swan, the freewheeling narrative gallivants through Bridget Jones’s Diary, The Wedding Planner and My Best Friend’s Wedding, with brief nods to Pretty Woman and Notting Hill.

A painful skit on The Lord Of The Rings is hopelessly misplaced in a jewellery store scene; equally poor are the sequences involving Kill Bill and Michael Jackson.

Julia Jones (Hannigan) is overweight and seriously depressed. She doesn’t stand a chance in a world where beautiful means thin.

So she approaches date doctor Hitch (Cox), who uses a team of car mechanics to beat Julia’s gelatinous bodywork into shape.

Soon after, the new and improved Julia develops an all-consuming crush on British hunk Grant Funkyerdoder (Campbell).

However, the path to true love is littered with obstacles, including Julia’s interfering father (Griffin), Grant’s deranged parents (Willard, Coolidge) and his insanely jealous best friend (Monk).

Hannigan works incredibly hard to bring a sense of fun and energy to Date Movie, but she’s hamstrung by a script that lacks imagination and invention.

Campbell lacks the necessary charm or charisma and there’s no sexual chemistry whatsoever with his kooky leading lady.

The running gag about Julia’s heritage (her father is African-American, her mother is Indian and her sister is Japanese) is a giggle, and Willard and Coolidge are wacky imitations of Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand.

Even the sight of the Funkyerdoder family cat making a noisy visit to the toilet warrants a smile.

The rest of the film deserves to be flushed down the u-bend.

Rating: 2/10