20 Dates

"Bad"

20 Dates Review


Myles Berkowitz is an out-of-work director and egomaniacwith a clever idea that is destroyed by his self-indulgence in the semi-documentary"20 Dates."

Unable to find a directing gig in Hollywood and on theslide romantically, Berkowitz decided to film his hopefully enticing attemptsto find love in L.A. and then use the finished product as a calling cardto make a name for himself.

The problem is, this guy is such an insufferable, whinytroll that it's really difficult to understand why only one of his 20 dateswalks out on him in the course of the film.

"Wouldn't it be interesting to film everything a guygoes through for a date?" he asks rhetorically in his grating, nasaland incessant voice-over.

Well, NO, not really. Especially when the picture's stagedepisodes are so painfully obvious and his studio gate-crashing attemptsat Michael Moore-dom so tedious.

Berkowitz addresses the camera like a cheap lawyer on alate-night TV commercial. He whines about women like a funny bone-deficientWoody Allen or Jerry Seinfeld, even taking on-screen digs at his ex-wife.He argues with one date about why she broke up with a previous boyfriend.He gets sued by another who didn't know she was being filmed until he pointedto the bushes like a lecherous Allen Funt. With a hidden camera, he cruiseschicks in the fat-free aisle of a grocery store.

The movie's only really amusing bits come when Berkowitzisn't on dates. His financial backer is a cantankerous, camera-shy Greekwho swears like a sailor and insistently (and almost violently) advocatesa T&A angle for the film. What I really enjoyed were the episodes inwhich his friends tell him how annoying he is. "You're an acquiredtaste," an ex-girlfriend says diplomatically.

Amazingly, Berkowitz actually finds love in the courseof making this movie -- and with a girl that is an absolute doll! The lastreel concerns, in part, his internal uncertainty about going on other datesto finish the movie.

I'll grant Berkowitz that "20 Dates" was a resourceful,original, necessity- is- the- mother- of- invention idea for a directordesperately looking for work. With a less obnoxious subject this mighthave worked as, say, an hour-long special on HBO. But with Myles Berkowitzit's simply agonizing.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 87 mins

In Theaters: Friday 26th February 1999

Distributed by: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

Production compaines: Phoenician Films, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Fox Searchlight Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 38%
Fresh: 12 Rotten: 20

IMDB: 5.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Myles, as Herself, as Elisabeth, as The Agent, as Himself, as Voice of the Producer (voice)

Also starring:

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