Speed-Dating: The Unexpected, Slapstick Comedy
There are movies like “Inception” and “The Matrix” that will have holding your head and questioning the meaning of life. Then there are movies that appeal to your simple nature. The part of you that just wants to indulge in good laugh or two. “Speed-Dating” is that movie. The straight-to-DVD flick features familiar faces that translate to an often random, laughter producing film.
It begins with an introduction to the film’s three main characters: Too Cool (Wesley Jonathan), Dog (Chico Benymon- best known as Spencer on Half and Half), and Beaver (Leonard Robinson, from Wild N’ Out). Dog and Beaver are struggling to keep their night club open and decide to start hosting speed dating events to get the club popping once more. From jump we know that Too Cool is the mack of the film, taking women home every night. But of course they can’t stay. After a few hours of Hot time the women descend his spiraling staircase as they view the words “walk of shame” plastered on the wall. Dog tries to be a mack but his aggressive, tongue wagging approach and his affection for biting can be a little off putting. Lastly there’s Beaver who struggles with the ladies and is constantly derided by Dog about his sexuality. So much so, that he has a “coming out” party to determine if he really is gay.
Sounds a little all over the place right? Well it is, but not in a distracting way. Despite the myriad of characters that walk in and out of the movie, it’s not hard to keep up and they all provide some type of comedic levity, with the exception of the break/tap dancing kitchen staff. Huh?
Either way as the plot thickens the men find love in (predictably) unexpected places and Too Cool deals with his issues of love, trust and abandonment associated with his mother (Holly Robinson Peete.) Yeah, it gets a little heavy at times.
Overall the film is the slapstick comedy we all need every once in a while. It’s corny but it’s consistently corny peppered with moments of unrealistic action that will have you wanting to rewind to see if that really did just happen. It did. It could easily become that one movie you consistently have to justify owning. But your efforts only make you love it more.
The most surprising and refreshing part of the movie came during the special features. The cast and producer, Mekita Faiye,who also plays one of Too Cool’s love interests, spoke at a LA college about the passion, hustle, and humiliation associated with the acting business. All jokes were put aside as the comedians talked about rejection, supporting their families and the importance of having your own in Hollywood. Completely unexpected but definitely appreciated.