Image Entertainment // 2010 // 100 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Franck Tabouring (Retired) // March 24th, 2011
Love at first sight happens every night...
Joseph A. Elmore Jr.'s new film Speed-Dating bills itself as a "high-energy romantic comedy," but in reality, this disaster of a low-budget feature doesn't even come close to being energetic or romantic. If Speed-Dating is good at one thing, it's wandering around aimlessly for 100 slow-moving minutes, all while desperately trying to deliver at least one decent joke. Sadly enough, the flick's comic aspect (or the lack thereof) also happens to be one of its biggest weaknesses. Too bad this one is not as fast-paced as its title suggests.
Wesley Jonathan, Chico Benymon, and Leonard Robinson play Too Cool, Dog, and Beaver, three buddies who've come up with what they believe is a brilliant plan to score chicks: run their own speed-dating event so they themselves can select the participating women and choose the ones they want to be matched up with. At first, the whole scheme works great and the boys get more quick sex than they can handle, but as weeks pass and most of their one-nighters become both weird and a bit tiring, Too Cool, Dog, and Beaver slowly start to realize that getting to know and falling in love with a woman may in fact be more fulfilling than just trivial sex.
You're not missing anything if you decide to skip this one. If you do give it a shot, know you're in for a movie that lacks a coherent storyline, takes forever to get going and never even reaches a decent climax. In Speed-Dating, everything feels like one big drag searching for a purpose. For the most part, the characters are as dull as the endless conversations they're having. They try to be witty and all, but the constant bragging about their fabulous scheme and the kick they get out of disrespecting their female prey gets very old very quickly.
When a movie takes 40 minutes to reach the first noticeable plot change, you know something isn't right, and that's exactly how Speed-Dating operates. It may be hard to believe, but that's really how long it takes until our guys encounter the women who will change their way of thinking. For Too Cool, it's a sweet lady who teaches him to make the right decisions in life. For Dog, it's a sexy young woman who makes him go to church with her before she would even let him touch her. As for Beaver, well, he's busy trying to figure out whether he's gay. Interesting concept there, but all we're left with eventually is a series of homophobic jokes that aren't really that hilarious.
Either way, Dog discovers God, and Too Cool and his girl are off to Hawaii. Next thing you know, Too Cool and his girl are back and forced to tackle the first challenge of a fresh relationship. This goes on for a while, and countless (and desperate) attempts at delivering hilarity later, we've reached the end of the men's journey, dissatisfied of what we've just witnessed. The messy screenplay really is what damages the movie the most, and the lack of refreshing humor comes in a close second. Too bad again, because the cast clearly has the talent to pull off better material. In the end, they never really get a chance to prove their skills here.
Time is almost up, so let's move over and meet the next item on my list. The DVD comes with a decent 1.78:1 widescreen transfer of the feature, boasting strong enough colors, solid white and black levels, and an overall sharp image. There is a lot of chatting going on in Speed-Dating and luckily enough, the 5.1 Surround mix doesn't disappoint. In terms of special features, the disc comes with a 40-minute webcast during which cast and crew have a lot of fun. Also included are a few very short behind-the-scenes clips. That's it.
Despite an interesting title, Speed-Dating never rises to a compelling entertainment level. The jokes fail, the story completely tanks, and what we are left with is an energetic ensemble cast spitting out lame dialogue. Besides a few funny one-liners, this one's got nothing hilarious or creative to offer. Next...
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Image Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 100 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Rated R