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My Date With Drew

“Give me one last chance, we’ll slide down the surface of things.”

This lyric from “Even Better Than The Real Thing” by U2 is what comes to mind after watching “My Date with Drew,” a lightweight but charming documentary of one young man’s quest for a date with Drew Barrymore.

Co-director and star Brian Herzlinger takes pop culture touchstones from his youth (“E.T.”) to the present (“Charlie’s Angels”) and places them as the signposts for a quest whose hurdles turn out to be the layers of personal assistants and staff between him and Drew, as well as the closing times of post offices, banks and FedEx stores that he can never seem to beat in the course of his pursuit.

A New Jersey native transplanted to Hollywood, Herzlinger is working in low-level film and television production positions or is completely unemployed when he has the idea for this film. He borrows from the style of Morgan Spurlock and “Super Size Me” by setting up the film as a stunt to take place over the course of 30 days -- in this case the amount of time he can keep a video camera from Circuit City and still return it for a full refund. He also places himself as the protagonist and narrator, just like Spurlock.

But unlike Spurlock, who is making a point about the dangers of fast food, Herzlinger isn’t aiming to critique the superficiality of celebrity culture or anything of that sort. He’s content just to ride the wave of the stunt he has set up, so while “My Date With Drew” amuses, it’s just a confection. Audiences have to be content to just slide on the surface of things in this quest.

On hearing Herzlinger’s idea, a mentor tells him, “It looks like the dumbing down of America is complete.” That doesn’t deter Herzlinger, who for all his failings on the quest manages to ingratiate himself with his audience so much that by the end, they will root for him to get the date.

The end of Herzlinger’s quest turns out to be the perfect payoff to the stunt he has led us through. While the ending is not a commentary on celebrity either, it turns out to be an amusing triumph for the superficial.

   

   

     

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