20 DATES

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 1998
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 87 minutes
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This mockumentary begins with a simple premise: filmmaker Berkowitz convinces a producer to give him $60,000 to make a movie in which he will go on 20 dates in LA in search of true love. Sound simple enough?
Berkowitz is hilarious to watch as the film evolves into what can best be described as the world’s first reality-based sitcom. Myles goes on one date with a woman and things are going well, until he breaks it to her that there is a hidden camera in the bushes. Her face goes flush and she storms away upset. In the next scene he is shown fielding a phone call from the woman’s attorney. Myles is shown in constant battles with his producer who wants more “tits and ass”. When Myles finally dates a woman he likes, he must choose between her and completing the film. Screenwriting guru Robert McKee is shown giving Myles advice on love in the cinema today and the news is grim — modern audiences just don’t like romance. Sad but true.
Although the documentary style is betrayed at times (the film was actually heavily scripted) the humor, and yes, heart of the film shines through. “20 Dates” won the audience award at Slamdance and was a festival favorite. Hilarious and a must-see.



Posted on January 26, 1998 in Reviews by
Buffer


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