By Mark Bell | October 2, 2010

“Speed-Dating” tells the tale of three bachelors, Too Cool (Wesley Jonathan), Beaver (Leonard Robinson) and Dog (Chico Benymon), who spend their evenings putting on fake “speed dating” events in a effort to get large quantities of women together that they can then pick-and-choose from (while also making some money off the unwitting male and female participants). Too Cool is the main player of the group, easily wooing the ladies back to the bedroom while Dog is your typical chauvinist pig and Beaver is… well, Beaver may or may not be gay. Everything is working out fine, until the health inspector (an overweight, body-painted-blue Chris Elliott) denies their club a liquor license unless it is brought up to code, and the guys start to find themselves falling for a few of their conquests. Will the men save their club? Will they find love? Why is Chris Elliott blue, and is that Clint Howard scamming on chicks?

“Speed-Dating” is a funny movie, along the lines of New Zealand’s romantic comedy “Sione’s Wedding.” While not all of the bits seem to connect perfectly (there is definitely the feeling of some scenes existing solely for the jokes contained within them), at least the narrative slides make you laugh. And, you know, if you make a comedy, and you make people laugh, haven’t you succeeded?

I wasn’t 100% onboard with the film’s score, which dips into “Home Alone” territory with some of the music cues, and some of the acting from the non-leads can be pretty painful to watch, though the film does establish an over-the-top style early on that makes the lesser talented actors seem less like they’re trying too hard. I mean, it’s tricky to decipher: is an acting performance poor because the actor is going for over-the-top, or is everyone else just doing over-the-top better?

Overall though, again, “Speed-Dating” is a comedy that is actually funny, and that should be valued highly. While it does dip into the dramatic in a couple moments, it doesn’t misplay its intentions and become melodramatic or tiresome. It could be a little tighter, but the film doesn’t drag and it’s a fun watch.

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