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Alyson Hannigan

Alyson Hannigan - "Date Movie" Unrated Edition DVD - The-trades.com Review

Thursday 25 May 2006, by Webmaster

I love "Airplane", and I never pass a chance to watch "Kentucky Fried Movie" — but they sure do have a lot to answer for. Case in point, this over-the-top parody of date movies, cleverly enough titled "Date Movie" (this, of course, being the unrated DVD edition of what was originally a PG-13 theatrical release.)

The plot of the film (why are you looking at me like that?) involves Julia Jones (Alyson Hannigan, How I Met Your Mother), an overweight waitress at her family’s restaurant who dreams of one day finding her prince charming who will whisk her away. Prince Charming turns out to be the British-accented Grant Fockyerdoder (Adam Campbell), who picks Julia from a group of women competing on a Bachelor-style competition (this after Julia has been pimped out and slimmed down).

But this romance has more obstacles in its way than just gross-out jokes and obvious parody moments: Julia’s parents want her to find a Greek-Indian-Japanese-Jew like herself; and Grant’s best friend Andy (Sophie Monk, "Click") is doing everything she can to sabotage the burgeoning relationship so she can have Grant back to herself.

The film is largely a mish-mash of "Hitch", "Meet the Fockers", and "My Best Friend’s Wedding", with a liberal sprinkling of moments from "Lord of the Rings", "Sweet Home Alabama", "The Wedding Planner", "Kill Bill", and a brilliantly realized scene of a classic 80s brat-pack movie involving standing outside a window holding a boom box overhead. Obviously the writers kept us older viewers in mind. Despite being exactly what it sets out to be — a collection of sequential spoofs that loosely tell a story — Hannigan is nothing less than adorable, and Campbell gets to deliver quite a decent number of good lines with very dry candor.

The only mystery left unsolved about this DVD is exactly what made it unrated? For the language? The tasteless gross-out humor? The slow-motion scenes with Sophie Monk? Because there’s nothing really on here that you might expect from, say, "American Pie". Maybe the unrated bit isn’t in the movie itself, but is in the special features. So let’s do a little digging in there.

First up are three sets of commentaries to choose from (which, of course, means you have to watch the movie three more times). You can sit through it with the writers Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. Or have a bit more fun sitting through it with the actors, Alyson Hannigan, Adam Campbell, Sophie Monk, Valery Ortiz, and Tony Cox. Finally — and my favorite of the bunch — you can watch the anti-commentary with film critics Scott Foundas and Bob Strauss. Imagine sitting in on a taping of Mystery Science Theater with Ebert and Roeper, and it’s a film they really don’t like. It’s that good.

There’s another track you can turn on as well: a laugh track. Presumably this is so you’ll know when to yourself. It’s interesting for the first three minutes, and you’ll be turning it back off after that.

Getting beyond the tracks themselves to new visual content, we have a featurette called "On Dating", where the stars talk about their own bad dating experiences. And then there’s "The Quickie". This is my ultimate recommendation to hit whenever you feel like re-watching "Date Movie". It’s the film all over again, but with fast-forwards in it that jump to the funny parts, condensing the finished version down to less than six-and-a-half minutes. Perfect!

There’s also the usual batch of audition tapes, a handful of deleted, extended or alternative scenes, a pair of romantic screensavers (a beach or a fireplace), and a quiz where right answers result in Sophie Monk tying a cherry stem into a prize for you.

The best of the featurettes here is, hands down, "Making a Spoof". In this, Adam Campbell plays Peter Jackson, and for the next 18 minutes he talks about making "King Kong", parodying the video diaries that pervaded the internet before the big ape’s movie.

The Audio settings (also unrated, one would presume) include English 5.1 Surround, French Dolby Surround, and Spanish Dolby Surround, with subtitles in English and Spanish (there apparently being no deaf people among the French).

Previews on this disc include "Grandma’s Boy", plus a Fox Inside Look at "The Omen", "Trust the Man" and "Thank You For Smoking".