Written By Kelly Stifora
Kim Basinger and Dan Larroquette upstage Bruce Willis in his tepid debut as a leading man. Don’t let the fact that Blake Edwards directed blind you: this is a dud.
Walter (Willis) gets set up on a blind date with Nadia (Basinger) for an incredibly important business dinner at which his boss is expecting him to make a good impression on a prospective client. After being explicitly told not to let Nadia imbibe, Walter heads straight out to get a bottle of champagne and sta…ts pouring. Everything that can go wrong does, and surprisingly little hilarity ensues. The result is that John Larroquette’s appearances as Nadia’s insanely jealous ex come off like water in a comic desert. The plot is contrived and unbelievable, and if you make it through to the final frames, you’ll be rewarded only with the most obvious product placement ever committed to celluloid.
This film has not aged well. From the pink credits to the rude waiters to Walter’s job (which seemingly consists of nothing more than gathering around a table with a bunch of stuffy yuppies for 10 minutes per day) to Basinger’s grotesque hairdo, it could not be any more obvious that this is a product of the 80s, and a particularly boring one at that.
Being that Blind Date was released in 1987, it’s not surprising that the sound has been converted into two-channel Dolby Surround, rather than the 5.1 digital surround that we’ve are spoiled with on more recent releases. In the two-channel mix, the soundtrack gains some space and some bass, but still comes off as quite flat. At some points the dialogue is muddied by the score and difficult to understand, adding to the frustration caused by the abysmal plot.
Here, points are scored for including both standard and 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen versions, but that’s where the kudos end. As soon as the film begins, dust and hair can be seen standing out against a sky that could be blue or gray, it’s hard to tell because the color is so muted. A slight grain can be perceived throughout, and while brightly lit indoor scenes remain reasonably vibrant, darker scenes lose a lot of detail. The blacks and reds are barely contained, and flesh tones cover a wide range of colors, none of which are natural.
A trailer and enough subtitle options to bring cultural development to a dead stop clear around the world. The menu is nothing more than a menu.
That’s 95 minutes that I can never have back. If you want to see a good film about a blind date from hell, check out Martin Scorcese’s bizarre 1985 comedy After Hours, rumored to be coming out soon on DVD
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