My Date With Drew Review
Any guy would love to go on a date with Drew Barrymore, but few would bother trying to get close enough to ask. After all, how do you get a Hollywood star to listen to your request when you barely even come close to their social circle? This is the challenge laid down by documentary filmmaker Brian Herzlinger to himself, hoping to realise a lifelong ambition of one date with the actress he has adored since first laying eyes on her in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial when he was also a child. After failing abysmally to talk to her at the Charlie’s Angels premiere in 2000, he thought he would never get the chance to ask her out again…but then fate seemed to be turning his way.
Acting on a quote attributed to Barrymore of “If you don’t take risks, you’ll have a wasted soul”, Brian is a man on a mission. He has just won $1,000 on a game show in which Barrymore’s name was the winning answer and he sees it as a sign to finally seek the date he’s dreamed of since childhood. He buys a video camera with the money and recruits his friends to document his attempts to woo Barrymore within 30 days. Fortunately, living in Los Angeles and working in the media industry, he has a few contacts to call upon and the chance to corner Barrymore at the premiere of Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle if using the six degrees of separation fails. Cue calls to Charlie’s Angels scriptwriter John August, her one-time friend Corey Feldmen and desperate calls to any other Hollywood worker who may have some kind of link with the actress they can track down.
My Date With Drew only works because Brian is the kind of friend we all have who talks about his worries out loud. Although he is taking a bold action, at every step he is consumed with worry about how Barrymore will reject him because of his hairy body or a rouge character trait: he literally bounces around the room with excitement each time a connection comes off, but immediately becomes sure he will bottle it the moment he gets the chance to talk to her. Determined not to freeze in front of the star like before, he hires an actress who looks like Barrymore to date him and faces his fears leading to one of the most odd moments in this documentary as he seems as obsessed by this one trial night as he would by the long-awaited real thing. He entertains in an entirely genuine way while his suffering friends set up a website and a DVD which they go to great lengths to get Barrymore to see.
It is all pretty harmless fly-on-the-wall fun, if a little too disposable, but the major gripe with My Date With Drew is that the film itself is dated by the events: the Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle premiere was way back in 2003. It makes you feel your friend lent you the DVD to watch rather than having just bought a new movie. Still, this does not prevent Brian’s story from being any less amusing and as a tale of taking risks to sooth one’s soul, it most definitely achieves it.
Aside from a trailer Brian made to advertise his challenge to all those who would listen and maybe get in contact with Drew, nothing to bring the documentary up to date. A missed opportunity.
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