“If you don’t take risks, you’ll have a wasted soul.” – Drew Barrymore. Ever since the second grade when he first saw her in E.T. The Extraterrestrial, Brian Herzlinger has had a crush on Drew Barrymore. Now, 20 years later and much wiser, he has one goal in mind. He hates to get a date, somehow, with Drew Barrymore. There’s one small problem: She’s Drew Barrymore and he’s, well, Brian Herzlinger, a broke 27-year-old aspiring filmmaker from New Jersey. However, this doesn’t stop Mr. Herzlinger and his friends from tr…ing his best all while documenting his quest along the way.
Armed with a video camera they must return to Circuit City in 30 days, Herzlinger and his friends set out to complete his quest. To succeed, they’ll need to negotiate an army of publicists, agents, producers and assistants who surround the star so Brian can pop the question. My Date With Drew has won numerous awards from many critics. The film is also an often hilarious look at how far some people will go to fulfill their dream.
Now while you may think this dream of Herzlinger’s is quite stupid, once you see My Date With Drew you will definitely look at yourself and think they if Herzlinger’s dream could come true with a lot of determination, why can’t my dream come true? While My Date With Drew has been listed as a documentary, it is more a one-man film. The film chronicles regular guy Brian Herzlinger’s attempts to land a date with his elementary school crush, Drew Barrymore, whom he had seen in E.T. The Extra Terrestrial when they both were children. On first glance, this could easily be seen as a typical stalker type film. However, probably due to Herzlinger’s likeability, the film comes off on a pretty good note.
The film shares similarities with Morgan Spurlock’s SuperSize Me in that its set-up includes a ticking clock of 30 days (the time remaining before Herzlinger has to return the credit card-purchased video camera to Circuit City for a no-hassle refund), a limited budget ($1,100 he won on a game show where the winning answer was, maybe a sign of his quest, Drew Berrymore)and a tone of pure salesmanship. Followed by co-directors and fellow Ithaca college friends Jon Gunn and Brett Winn along with producer Kerry David, Herzlinger sets out on his quest with a great sense of focus.
When Herzlinger mention his idea to others, his mentor and friend, Bill D’Elia, proclaims, “The dumbing of America is complete,” and even Herzlinger’s mother refers to Barrymore unfavorably and tells him he should try to date a “real person.” These simple dejections do not stop Herzlinger from his quest, which is partly what makes this film pretty entertaining. Herzlinger enlists a personal trainer, a facialist (the same one Drew uses) and a psychic, gets a makeover and sneaks into the after-party of the Charlies Angles”Full Throttlepremiere. At one point a Drew look-alike is hired to allow Herzlinger a practice run should he actually land the date. Although the idea of the film sounds like something on the latest FOX reality series, the idea of a simple filmmaker doing this, but in a smarter manner, is quite touching. Herzlinger is not afraid of defeat or of trying incredibly hard. This is partially what makes the comedy so funny. Herzlinger is the type of guy that you want to care for and want to hope he suceeds.
My Date With Drew is the perfect type of film to show anyone who feels like his or her dream will never come true. I’m sure Herzlinger thought the same thing at one point. But through determination and a never quit attitude, Herzlinger’s goal came true and so can yours.
My Date With Drew is presented in 1:85:1 Widescreen and 4X3 formats. For a documentary, the picture seemed pretty solid in some areas, but pretty poor in other areas. Take for example when he went home to his old room. As he entered the room, I noticed a lot of grainy footage showing up which did not really bother me too much, but still was very noticeable. The only other really noticeable area was when he was outside in the sun. A lot of these scenes were overly bright added a bit of strain to the picture. I will say that for a film shot on an $1100 video camera, the picture came out above average.
My Date With Drew is presented in either 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound and 2.0 Dolby Digital with either English or French language choices. For a documentary, I was somewhat impressed with the sound. This is not obviously a demo disc for your surround sound, but I was pretty surprised to find 5.1 Surround Sound here considering this is a low budget film. The appearance of 5.1 Surround Sound made me wonder if the film had a lot of high paced scenes that needed such an audio track. Alas, this was not the case. No real scene seemed to test my speakers out regardless of the volume I had the receiver at. The lack of subtitles on this disc really made some of the lower scenes, for instance when he was on his phone or outside near traffic, really difficult to understand.
I was hoping for a bit more in the special feature department here than what was given.
- Extended Scene (Date with Drew) (18:56): Extended scene of the ending date with Drew. The scene really conveys that he loved being around here (as did she apparently). For someone who was so nervous coming up to the scene, he came off as a pretty calm guy in front of her which is shown in this extended scene where he tells her how much he loves her films, where he lives, what she does everyday, etc. Overall seemed like a scene that was wisely taken out.
- Previews: Here we find Previews for two films, one being My Date With Drew and the other being a German film Dear Wendy
My Date With Drew is the type of documentary that you pick up in the video store, read the plot, and think to yourself that this sounds like a kind of documentary that will be very typical and formulaic. Yes, My Date With Drew is very typical and formulaic but the film is actually very entertaining. The main reason being that Herzlinger is portrayed as the type of character whom you want to succeed in the end. As the audience, you become so involved in his quest, that you actually feel like you accomplished something when he lands the date with Drew. Despite the lack of features, the above average audio and video quality make this a highly recommended film that you should at least rent. The perfect type of film for that first date or just a film when you need to smile or laugh. Recommended.
Special Features List
- Extended scenes