A date with disaster

“Date Movie”20th Century FoxWritten and directed by Aaron Seltzer and Jason FriedbergStarring: Alyson Hannigan, Adam Campbell, Eddie Griffin, Fred Willard and Jennifer CoolidgeRated PG-13/100 minutesOpens February 17, 2006Zero out of four stars

The ads claim that “Date Movie” is the brainchild of two of the six writers who brought us “Scary Movie 3.” I guess that’s supposed to be a joke-marketers will stretch to ridiculous lengths to sell us something-but the joke is on us.

“Date Movie” is a hideously unfunny, disgusting horde of spoofs on modern romantic comedies?and “Kill Bill,” inexplicably.

So relentless is “Date Movie” in its pursuit of being not funny that it includes a scene in which a happy couple kicks a homeless man to near death as their date activity.

Ha, ha.

And don’t forget the scene in which a potty-trained cat (in an unsavory wink to “Meet the Parents,” which, technically, isn’t even a romantic comedy) has an ear-splitting bowel movement that would make Johnny Knoxville wince.

Ho, ho.

Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg are the two above-mentioned writers of this garbage heap. Their job on “Scary Movie 3” must have been to sit in the back of the conference room and make fart noises with their armpits while the other writers scribbled away. “Hey, those idiots need something to do,” the studio must have said. “Let them make their own movie.”

“Date Movie” is in the random, chaotic spirit of the “Naked Gun” and “Scary Movie” series. It pokes fun at the romantic comedy genre like a snot-nosed punk pokes a dead bird with a stick. In other words, romantic comedies-for the most part-have become parodies of themselves, so what else is there to make fun of?

Not much, as “Date Movie” shows us right out the gate. Its very first joke is a jab at “Napoleon Dynamite,” a movie that is not romantic, not much of a comedy and not a movie that I would even consider watching with a date. Making fun of “Napoleon” is like shooting fish in a barrel.

The laziness doesn’t stop there.

Alyson Hannigan (so feisty in the “American Pie” movies and so wasted here) plays an overweight (in a fat-suit) young woman who visits Hitch, the date doctor. Instead of tall, charming Will Smith, she gets short, crass Tony Cox.

Get it? It’s funny because he’s short and has attitude! Right? Right? Ha, ha.

Instead of finding a clever or-dare I suggest?-funny way to comment on the movies it spoofs, “Date Movie” is content with simply rehashing scenes with uninspired exaggerations.

Hannigan and her beau (Adam Campbell) visit a wedding planner who looks remarkably like Jennifer Lopez-only her booty is so big, it probably resides in several ghettos. The problem is, we don’t see the giant butt until very late in the scene. Writer-directors Seltzer and Friedberg cobble this scene together with a fundamental lack of understanding of comic set-ups and pay-offs. It’s painful to watch.

“Date Movie” lampoons “Say Anything,” “Legally Blonde,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and yes, even “Kill Bill.” When the laughs didn’t come, I couldn’t help but think about those movies and how much I’d rather be at home watching them instead of this drivel.

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