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Fox Home Entertainment presents
Date Movie (Unrated) (2006)

"Grant told me you were pretty, but he didn't mention that you were flat-chested."
- Andy (Sophie Monk)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: June 01, 2006

Stars: Alyson Hannigan
Other Stars: Adam Campbell, Jennifer Coolidge, Tony Cox, Fred Willard, Eddie Griffin, Sophie Monk
Director: Aaron Seltzer

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (continuous crude and sexual humor, including language)
Run Time: 01h:24m:38s
Release Date: May 30, 2006
UPC: 024543247012
Genre: comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C DBB+ A-

DVD Review

While it seems like a new Scary Movie sequel hits theaters twice a year, the parodies don't stop there. Early 2006 saw one that made fun of romantic comedies called Date Movie. Despite a critical lashing, good timing resulted in an excellent opening weekend at the box office, virtually guaranteeing not only a Date Movie 2, but also a Scary Movie 5, 6, 7...

Julia Jones (Alyson Hannigan) is a rather large woman who longs for love between snacks out of a large jar of mayonnaise. After visiting the nearby dating expert (Tony Cox), Julia meets Grant Funkyerdoder (Adam Campbell) and is instantly smitten. Grant falls in love with her as well once Julia has an incredible makeover, and the two are quickly engaged. The wedding becomes difficult to coordinate, though, as both sets of parents suffer from severe culture clash, and Julia has to compete with Grant's old flame, the gorgeous Andy (Sophie Monk).

No recent romantic comedy is safe as this parody begins its reign of terror by tackling the Bridget Jones films, then moving on to My Big Fat Greek Wedding. There are references to just about every such movie from the last five or so years, including My Best Friend's Wedding, and even the more recent Napoleon Dynamite. You name it, they mock it, with only a few of tasteful lifts and some a bit obscure (who would have even thought to send up Rize?). The best references come at the expense of the Kill Bill movies and What Women Want, but even those only elicit a slight chuckle.

Making nearly all of the same mistakes that the Scary Movie films make on a consistent basis, Date Movie is filled with witless gags. Scatological humor is the name of the game here, as the potty-trained cat from Meet the Parents is sent-up in a particularly gross sequence. There are way too many cringe-inducing jokes including the appearance of some Lord of the Rings characters who sell their "precious" in a high-end jewelry store.

When Fred Willard shows up there is a glimmer of hope; unfortunately, he's one of a handful of talented, veteran actors who have to work with the lamest of screenplays. Willard tries to bring his charm to a version of Dustin Hoffman's character from Meet the Fockers, while Jennifer Coolidge tries to have fun mimicking Barbara Streisand from the same film. Try to have sympathy for the lovely Alyson Hannigan (Buffy, The Vampire Slayer), who breathes life into every project she undertakes. However, even Hannigan's glowing screen presence cannot lift a poorly-written film.

Michael Jackson is ripped, although his brief appearance has nothing to do with the rest of the gags, which at least slightly mesh to form a storyline. One longs for the days of Airplane and The Naked Gun as projects like this continue to run this comedic subgenre into the Hollywood graveyard.

Rating for Style: C
Rating for Substance: D

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation is slightly under par when compared to transfers of other recent theatrical releases. The appearance of some soft images is a surprise, but things are sharp and detailed for the most part. There's some edge enhancement as well, but the color scheme is nicely rendered. No bleeding or print flaws are evident, while shadow and black levels were consistently solid throughout.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Spanish, Frenchyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The only audio option is a Dolby Digital 5.1 track, and it's exactly what is expected from a comedy. Most of the sound comes from the front speakers, but the rears do house some directional effects and music. There's nice bass presence during the numerous rap and hip-hop songs that dominate the soundtrack, and the dialogue is always crystal clear.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Grandma's Boy, The Omen, Trust the Man, Thank You for Smoking
3 TV Spots/Teasers
12 Deleted Scenes
1 Documentaries
3 Featurette(s)
3 Feature/Episode commentaries by 1. Writer Jason Friedberg and writer/director Aaron Seltzer.2. Alyson Hannigan, Adam Campbell, Sophie Monk, Valery Ortiz, and Tony Cox.3. Anti-Commentary with film critics Scott Foundas and Bob Strauss.
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Internet Clips
  2. Date Movie Soundtrack Spot
  3. Gag Reel
  4. Andy's Cherry Stem Surprise - Interactive trivia questions.
  5. Romantic Screensavers
Extras Review: The large collection begins with a trio of audio commentaries. The first features writer Jason Friedberg and writer/director Aaron Seltzer, and they focus on all of the technical aspects of making any film, and specifically this one. The second includes Alyson Hannigan, Adam Campbell, Sophie Monk, Valery Ortiz, and Tony Cox. They have a good time talking about the film, and even touch on the Fox Legal Department that has a firm grip on what can be referenced in their DVDs' commentary tracks. The final listen is an "anti-commentary" with film critics Scott Foundas and Bob Strauss. These two basically rip the movie apart, making this track a very cleansing experience for those who sat through the film and rarely cracked a smile. The other alternate audio option allows us to watch the film with a laugh track that is instantly annoying.

A trio of featurettes are next, with On Dating giving us a four-minute look at some of the actors worst personal date experiences. The Quickie allows us to watch Date Movie in a mere six minutes, and Fun with Casting is a nearly two-minute collection of audition tape footage from the film's pre-production.

There are 12 deleted, extended, and alternate scenes, running over 18 minutes. Many of these are more amusing than the sequences in the film itself, but it's easy to see how their inclusion would have interrupted the speedy pace.

There's a pair of romantic screensavers that bring a sunset and fireplace right to our televisions, and an interactive trivia game called Andy's Cherry Stem Surprise. This game offers four riddles to solve to see what Andy can make with a cherry stem.

There's a funny gag reel, followed by Fox Movie Channel Presents Making a Spoof. This is an 18-minute piece that parodies the production diaries that Peter Jackson chronicled for King Kong. There isn't much insight into the making of Date Movie, as far too much time is spent mocking Jackson.

Also on board is collection of promotional material including three TV spots, the international trailer for Date Movie, a soundtrack spot, five clips that were available on the internet, and previews for other Fox releases.

Extras Grade: A-

 

Final Comments

Stop making bad parody films! This will be the rallying cry for any comedy fan who has to endure Date Movie. Fox gives their box-office hit the royal treatment on DVD, though, adding to their technically sound disc a slew of extras that are often funnier than the film itself.

 


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