“Undatement Center”

Starting Over

Amos Lassen

There was a time when dating was so easy. If a guy wanted a date, the most difficult thing he had to do was get up the nerve to ask someone to go out with him. There were places one could go to find dates and there were singles parties. Then along came the Internet and technology and everything changed. Now, it seems, that when a man wants a date, he needs to provide a cover letter and a resume before he can consider asking someone out.

Jack (Trevor Duke) has been single for a long time and he decides that the time has come to begin dating again. He decides to use a dating service to find the date and, as you can imagine, the results will be humorous. While getting a date can be quite hard, we also have to know how to act on a date so there will be no long embarrassing silences when one of the parties is thinking about what to say next. That moment when both parties realize that they have absolutely nothing in common can also be difficult to deal with or even as a result of too much to drink either side can appear moronic and has nothing to say. I think it is safe to say that we have all been there. Director Chris Espy has also been there and he has chosen to make this new film about dating.

Jack (Trevor Duke) hasn’t had a girlfriend for twelve years and he is just 26 (which means that he has not had a date since he was 14 years old. The time has come for him to meets someone and so he enrolls in a dating agency and there he has to have dates in front of other men (who also want to try their luck with the same girl). However, Jack has no luck and is turned down by every woman he meets. He then decides that he will take the role of the interviewer and it costs him $500 more to do that. However, this changes him by giving him a sense of power and allowing him to be the one to say no (which he does time after time. But then Lindsey, quite a beauty sits down in front of him and…

In just ten minutes, “Undatement Center” gives us some fine performances and some great humor. We are immediately reminded of how dating once was when w see that the girls that Jack is interested in want to see a résumé, a cover letter, his latest health check and then he still can’t score. Jack reaches the conclusion that he has been going abut dating all wrong and arranges that he get on the other side of the table and take charge of those who come looking for dates. He soon realizes that he enjoys giving the kind of abuse he had once received himself. Jack was not the kind of character I would sympathize with, he had the ability to put people off but when he changes his tactics I found it hard not to like him even though I am pretty sure I would not want him as a close friend. He is also, by the way, a fine actor who turns in a fine performance. What I really like about his film is its subtlety both in direction and in performance.



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