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Reviewed January 16th, 2003 by David Nusair


Blind Date is proof positive that it’s not as easy as it looks to put together a good wacky comedy. Movies like Weekend at Bernie’s and Police Academy make it seem like an effortless thing, getting laughs out of completely absurd situations. Blind Date proves, though, that it’s not quite as effortless as it seems.

Bruce Willis stars as Walter, a successful architect who’s on the verge of a big promotion. Whether or not he gets it has a lot to do with his ability to impress a potential client, who has very old-fashioned views on how men and women should behave. One such belief is that men shouldn’t be single, so Walter asks his brother (played by Phil Hartman) to set him up with a date. He’s matched with Nadia (Kim Basinger), a beautiful woman who comes with a warning – never let her drink (she’ll get wild, Walter is warned). The two hit it off instantly, and presumably this attraction clouds Walter’s judgment, who quickly offers Nadia a glass of champagne. She drinks more than she should, and the rest of the evening essentially becomes Walter’s worst nightmare as Nadia proceeds to wreak havoc.

The problem with Blind Date is that the situations within aren’t inherently wacky; a movie like Weekend at Bernie’s, which featured two guys trying pass off a dead man as alive, contains an organically funny setup. But here, though director Blake Edwards tries quite hard, the variety of circumstances Willis’ character finds himself in just aren’t all that believable. For example: After Walter experiences that wild night, which sees him fired and jailed, it seems reasonable enough that he’d never want to see Nadia again. But no, the third act – which sees Nadia marrying a sleazy lawyer named David (John Larroquette, who completely steals every scene he’s in) – finds Walter doing whatever he can to get Nadia back. It doesn’t make sense; we’re never given any indication prior to that that Walter even likes her, let alone loves her.

Edwards does, however, liven things up with a couple of spectacularly entertaining SteadiCam shots. The first is the best, which starts out in Walters office, wanders the hall in his office, goes into an elevator, and winds up in the lobby. Edwards’ sense of style similarly improves a lot of Blind Date, but still isn’t enough to prevent it from becoming tedious.

Audio: Blind Date is presented with a 2.0 Dolby soundtrack, and though it’s acceptable, it’s far from good. Dialogue is clear, but there are no instances of surround (obviously), even though there are several sequences that could’ve used it.

Video: Blind Date is presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1, anamorphically enhanced. For a film that’s over 15 years old, the transfer is surprisingly clean and crisp. There are some instances of film-related specks, but this is otherwise a perfectly acceptable transfer.

Extras: A trailer.

Conclusion: Blind Date might hold some appeal for fans of Bruce Willis.


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