Date Movie

Crimes:

• Spoofing a genre that's already supposed to be funny

• Congratulating the audience for getting references to movies that made $200 million at the box office

• Using poor defenseless kitties for separate necrophilia, bestiality, and flatulence jokes

Attackers: L.A. Weekly film critic Scott Foundas and L.A. Daily News film critic Bob Strauss

Tone of commentary: Good-natured, often bemused. Foundas and Strauss are left to wonder why they were invited to record an "anti-commentary" track, but they seem happy for the opportunity to pick Date Movie apart. Strauss actually gave the film one of its few semi-positive reviews, but he spends much of the time apologizing for liking it, and only halfheartedly defending the scenes he enjoyed. For his part, Foundas frequently asks questions like "Why is that funny?" and "Who thought this was a good idea?" while conceding that "a couple of moments are less than insufferable."

What went wrong: Both complain that Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker parodies like Airplane! and the sophisticated horror spoof Scream were funny because, unlike in Scary Movie and Date Movie, no one onscreen appeared to be in on the joke. Foundas also notes that romantic comedies are usually so instantly forgettable that some of the references are lost. Most of all, the scenes being parodied are staged very much like they were in the original movies, as if the filmmakers "forgot to add the joke." Foundas: "If you went to a dinner theater in Florida and saw some kind of road-show company doing a movie [spoofed by Date Movie], this is what it might look like."

Comments on the cast: Both have nice things to say about poor Alyson Hannigan, whom Strauss praises for doing her own stunt-work in a scene where she has a chicken breast flossed from her mouth. They also ogle Australian model Sophie Monk to an uncomfortable degree.

Inevitable dash of pretension: Strauss keeps talking about the film's "point-and-click aesthetic" without ever explaining what he means, except that the younger generation gets it.

Commentary in a nutshell: What genre will the filmmakers tackle next? Foundas: "Holocaust films."

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