Chances are, 'Date Movie' is scary

By STEVE PERSALL, Times Film Critic
Published February 16, 2006

Romantic comedies get the Scary Movie treatment in Date Movie (PG-13), a spoof opening Friday that wasn't screened in time for Weekend review.

Ads for Date Movie trumpet the fact that two of the six writers of the Scary Movie trilogy are behind the camera. That opens up a few questions: Did their crude jokes puncturing slasher flick clichˇs satisfy before? Is that one-third of Scary Movie's brain trust - a loosely applied term - the most talented 33 percent? How do you like the chances that Date Movie will be an improvement?

Of course, those questions are moot if you thought Scary Movie was a triple waste of celluloid. Or if you're part of the teenage demographic Fox Searchlight Pictures is chasing that doesn't care as long as it's dirty.

All we know from previews is that Alyson Hannigan (American Pie) wears a fat suit for gags based on Shallow Hal and Just Friends. Tony Cox, the hilarious Bad Santa sidekick, plays "Hitch" for a Will Smith reference, someone is named Bridget Jones, another character has a sexually suggestive name a la the Fockers, and Josh Meyers does a decent Napoleon Dynamite impression. Chances are slim that Date Movie can combine such elements into a movie as much fun as the originals.