Blind Date (2009)
Critic Consensus: Despite the chemistry of stars Patricia Clarkson and Stanely Tucci, Blind Date's stagey direction and underdeveloped story make it feel more like a rehearsal than a performance.
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Critic Reviews for Blind Date
It's about watching two always-fine actors do a lot with very little.
The film never lifts itself above its origin as a well-meaning, underdeveloped exercise.
A remake of a film by murdered Dutch director Theo van Gogh, it fails to captivate despite -- or perhaps because of -- the frantic acting efforts of Tucci and the normally reliable Patricia Clarkson.
Ultimately, the joke goes on too long -- for the couple and for us -- and the film fades away before the final fade-out.
It's overly faithful to the original and to Van Gogh's preferred three-camera setup.
It's the kind of two-hander that relies solely on the chemistry of the actors, both of whom banter, parry and bum rush their way through various left turns with grace. Their pas de deux almost makes up for this threadbare tragedy's no-win endgame. Almost.
Audience Reviews for Blind Date
Tucci (as director and actor) and Clarkson endeavor mightily to invigorate this woebegone tale of lost and regret, theatrically done mainly in one locale (a tavern). A married couple pretends not to know one another in order to meet afresh time after time, an effort to jump start their desperately failing marriage, but between the art and artifice you get confused, get lost, and you will too, despite the competent work (always) of the leads.
Blind Date runs for under 90 minutes, but it feels much, much longer. Excruciatingly longer, to be precise. Nothing about the film-none of the role play scenarios, not the "beat it over your head" voice over by a child or the finale-rings true. Instead of being concerned with the two main characters, I found myself wondering who the people were populating the small bar...or where the bar was actually located...or why these two weren't seeing a professional counselor. In other words, I was thinking about anything to keep my mind active through each date since the movie is devoid of any oomph. We're not even given a reason to root for these people. There's no intrigue, no depth, no true characterization; everything we "know" about these people is false since they're playing other people. If the purpose is to lull the audience to sleep and test their willpower, Blind Date succeeds. In every other way, it can't help but fail.
Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci(who also directed) prove with the melancholic and episodic chamber piece "Blind Date" that they can almost make anything work. Tucci plays Don, who we are told by a narrator(Sarah Hyland) is a magician who works awfully hard at not being very good. As a way to invigorate their crumbling marriage, he and his wife Janna(Clarkson) play a series of games, pretending they are on a blind date, trying to return to a point in their relationship when their love for each other was at its peak. They are also trying to forget(what exactly is revealed about halfway through the movie and in the trailer) which a lot of people try to do when they watch something or someone that they hope will make them laugh. But to paraphrase Watchmen #1, what happens when the jester can no longer laugh himself?
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