My Date with Drew

Recommended. This delightful little cheapo documentary about a Joe Average guy seeking to win a date with Drew Barrymore in 30 days, with a $1100 budget is hilarious, touching and inspiring. It’s made with a consumer camera that was “borrowed” from Circuit City, that is, purchased and returned within the 30 day return policy, since the kids were poor filmmakers in LA. So it’s totally bad quality visually, but it’s great, and why? Because IT’S A GREAT STORY. And that is what I love about the independent market today, because of the availability of digital cameras, independent filmmakers are no longer oppressed by the unavailability of the tools of their trade because of price. It is revitalizing the lost art of Hollywood, a good story. As the box office continues to slump and we are deluged with inflated budget loser movies and an endless deluge of bad 70s TV series remakes into movies (some of which are very good, like Bewitched), this movie, and others like it (Primer) give a refreshing affirmation of good storytelling – BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO. All these no-budget movies have is their story, they have no money and no connections, so they rely totally on story, which is really the secret of the best Hollywood movies anyway. So, hip hip hooray. Do you think the out of touch Hollywood Execs will figure this out someday? Anyway, this is a male juvenile excursion into celebrity worship, which I normally would be repulsed by, but I really think the whole thing is done with tongue in cheek levity. It’s all about the American Dream: that an ordinary man, through ingenuity, hard work and a little providence, can do the extraordinary, in this case, win a date with the movie star he had a crush on as a little kid. In fact, the kitsche scene at the end where Drew encourages Brian, the non-stalking stalker, that she was intrigued by his pursuit of his dream and the desire to transcend his experience in life and make something more of himself, is a little cornball cheesiness, but I was personally inspired and teared up because of it. IT WORKED. The only dark side that struck me was knowing that in an age of “reality TV” God only knows how much of this movie was artificially created in order to appear “real,” yet fit the structure of a good story, like turning points and climax etc. It seems there are no standards of morality for postmodern media, so why wouldn’t they fake the documentary? The very pathos and comedy of it all comes from seeing this as “really happening,” If it turns out the movie is a conceit, this would point up to the destructive power of movies to deceive, much like a Michael Moore film. That does not bode well for us. But that aside, the moment where Brian gets the phone call from Drew’s partner that she wants to see him, it is a brilliant one minute shot of absolute silence as he listens to his cell phone, and we cannot hear anything he is hearing, but we only see his face and all the ambiguous emotions he was going through. It was truly the finest moment in the film and worthy of the accolade of “great filmmaking.”

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