June 22, 2006

A Man, A Video Camera and A Dream

Ever since Michael Moore stormed the popular screens with his documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, docs have been the big story in major distribution. Every sorry, former film student these days seems to think they should pick up a camera and film life around them cinema vérité style. Not that Cinecultist doesn't love your Hoop Dreams or your How to Draw a Bunny, but not everyone with an HD cam is the next Fred Wiseman, if you catch our drift.


Last summer this documentary, My Date With Drew came out and we recall that we did our best to avoid it. But last night it was on TV and we couldn't help but get sucked in by the silliness of Brian Herzlinger running around like a complete idiot on camera. The "premise" is that Brian wins $1,100 on a game show and decides to use the money to try to get a date with actress Drew Barrymore, someone he's admired since he was 10 years old. With the slightly faulty technique of using friends of friends in the LA movie industry to connect with Drew, Brian gives himself 30 days to meet his goal.

It's probably not giving too much away to reveal that in the end Brian does get his sit down with the actress, coincidentally enough at the Miracle Grill restaurant, which is right near chez Cinecultist. This is the part that really hit home for CC and actually makes this movie worth watching. All along Brian seems to be intimating that his quest is all about his pre-teen crush on Drew, but rather she points out that his project is really about chasing down a dream. Brian obviously wants to make movies and he'll stop at nothing--whether it's interviewing Corey Feldman, working out to the Rocky theme or making fake passes to get into the Charlie's Angels after-party--to get there. Drew sees that right away, even if Brian can't.

At their date, Drew and Brian exchange gifts which are quite telling in their blatant symbolism. Brian buys Drew the best gift ever from our childhood, the Snoopy Sno Cone Maker. He wants to acknowledge their shared cultural past. Drew bring Brian a video camera, to replace the one he bought from Circuit City which he had to bring back before the return policy was up. She sees his future behind the camera. Even though it may seem cheesy, a big star like Drew Barrymore understands the value of striving for what you really love. Cinecultist needs more optimism like that in our life, even if it comes from gimmicky documentaries.

Posted by karen at June 22, 2006 6:07 PM