Double Date (2017)

Double Date
Director: Benjamin Barfoot
Writer: Danny Morgan
Cast: Danny Morgan, Georgia Groome, Michael Socha, Kelly Wenham, Dougie Poynter, Brooke Norbury
Part of: /slash 1/2 Filmfestival
Seen on: 5.5.2018

Jim (Danny Morgan) and Alex (Michael Socha) have been best friends forever, despite the fact that they don’t have much in common, especially when it comes to women. Jim is too shy to talk to them, while Alex has a seemingly endless supply of pick-up lines. Alex wants to finally get Jim out in the dating world. Out one night, they meet Lulu (Georgia Groome) and Kitty (Kelly Wenham). Against all odds, Lulu and Kitty seem really into Jim and Alex. But it soon becomes clear that they have their own nefarious plans with the guys.

That Double Date would be a film built on sexism was clear from the very description in the program. It’s clear from the plot summary. And the film does nothing to work against that sexism. Nevertheless, it does have amusing moments and much to my own suprise, it did manage to make me laugh.

the film poster for Double Date (2017)

Double Date doesn’t just use sexism as a jumping off point and it certainly doesn’t use it to make a point about the ridiculous gendered demands society pushes on people. No, it really leans into those demands and premises. I don’t know if it makes it better or worse that it treats men and women equally shitty, but it does make things more balanced: There are the shy, good guys and the lady’s men, as there are the shy, good girls and the vixens. Men are pretty much hapless and ultimately naive, while women are schemers who plot behind the men’s back to use them for their purposes. You can write the rest yourself, basically.

Your mileage will vary when it comes to how much this will bother you. I can say that it absolutely bothered me and to the last second I was hoping that some kind of reflection about this would take place or that they at least would skip one stereotype and cliché. But they didn’t. Because it’s a comedy, you see. Nobody takes it seriously. It’s just a joke. Don’t be such a killjoy.

Kelly Wenham (Kitty), Georgia Groome (Lulu), Michael Socha (Alex) and Danny Morgan (Jim) in a film still.

That the film does manage to be funny despite of this, is not only surprising, it’s a testament to the comedic skills of the cast and the filmmakers that one hopes will be employed with a less problematic set-up at some point. But honestly, that dance scene at the parents’ place, it’s a thing of gold.

It would have also worked without reproducing sexist clichés. It chooses not to even try. so I’d completely understand if people would choose not to give the film a try either. I wouldn’t urge you to do so anyway, but if you do, you can expect some genuinely funny moments in a sea of sexism.

Kelly Wenham (Kitty) and Georgie Groome (Lulu) in a film still.

Summarizing: mostly sexist, but also funny.

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