Sundance Film Festival
PARK CITY -- A married couple sets up blind dates with each other to reconnect their marriage after the death of their daughter. Starring Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson, "Blind Date" percolates with dark humor and absurdist conversation but is unlikely to hold audiences beyond the festival circuit.
Assuming different guises, the grief-stricken couple engages in shock therapy with each other, mouthing truths and insights through their surrogate, blind-date characters.
In David Schechter and Tucci's scattergun script, the encounters are outlandish; for instance, a reporter who seeks an aggressive female. Constructed to elicit hard truths, the encounters soon mire in a predictable tedium: verbal assaults, self-conscious jokery, absurdist pretension. Aesthetically, they are punctuated by fades. As such, these verbal jousts might be more conducive to radio shorts, or even a series of wipe-out vignettes for theater.
Under Tucci's direction, "Blind Date" careens into tedium as the couple plays out permutations of a blind-date pairing.
Fortunately, the film's cavalier verbal excesses and posings are countered by the two fine lead performances. Tucci, flexing an epicene machismo, endears as a magician whose specialty is in making his act go wrong. Through her various parts, Clarkson taps underlying truths and insights.
Visually, "Blind Date" is capped by director of photography Thomas Kist's luminous scopings.
Cinevault Releasing International
A Column Film and Ironworks Prods. in associationwith Kiss the Cactus and Candescent Pictures
Director: Stanley Tucci
Screenwriters: Stanley Tucci, David Schechter
Producers: Bruce Weiss, Gijs van de Westelaken
Executive producer: Nick Stiladis
Director of photography: Thomas Kist
Production designer: Loren Weeks.
Don: Stanley Tucci
Janna: Patricia Clarkson.
No MPAA rating, running time 83 minutes.