Annoyed by having to watch local "personalities," Carter Brown
and Angela Kokot blunder their way through the introductions to the press
screening of 20 Dates, I expected the worst from this unheralded, low-budget
film the Buzz editors had thrown at my feet like unwanted slaughterhouse
remnants. Was I ever wrong.
20 Dates is one of the freshest, funniest and most original movies I
have seen in ages. In "docu-drama" format, 20 Dates, written,
directed and starring Myles Berkowitz, focuses on Berkowitz's foray into
the Los Angeles singles scene. Berkowitz, a recently divorced director with
absolutely no prospects, decides to bring together in 20 Dates what he considers
his "two biggest failures: his personal life and his professional life."
What follows is comedy of the highest quality. Berkowitz has to balance
the chores of dealing with his angry agent, the sex-crazed violence of his
producer, and the almost impossible prospect of a loser like himself finding
20 dates. The dates are hilarious, with Myles proving beyond question why
his personal life is so pathetic. He is a high-strung, arrogant, self-centred
but hilarious man. He manages to alienate every woman he takes out.
There are two types of dates in 20 Dates-the dates where he overtly films
the proceedings and the dates where the camera is hidden. Myles, being the
ridiculous human being that he is, tells his dates at the end of dinner
that they are being filmed which causes two brusque walk-offs and two law-suits.
The object of Myles' quest is to find true love while making an intelligent
and original movie. Of course, he succeeds. Myles manages to find himself
a gorgeous interior designer who is willing to put up with his personality
flaws and insecurities. He also manages to put together a fantastic movie-and
all for only $50,000.
20 Dates is everything that's wrong with Hollywood and everything that's
right with the movies. It is an intelligent and daring film which looks
at the problems everyone faces with humour and insight. 20 Dates doesn't
fall into the cliché-ridden traps of most commercial movies-it maintains
its premise and originality throughout the production and never stoops to
the predictability of Hollywood convention.
20 Dates is the most fun you'll have at the movies since you were a kid.
It premiers at The Globe Theatre Fri., Mar. 26.