MY DATE WITH DREW (Brian Herzlinger, Brett Winn, Jon Gunn). 90 minutes. Opens Friday (August 12). For venues and times, see Movies, page 90. Rating: NNN
Jersey native and Hollywood player wannabe Brian Herzlinger has been obsessed with Drew Barrymore ever since, at age six, he saw E.T. and promptly joined the budding starlet's fan club.
So after winning $1,100 on a game show (his prize-winning answer was, in fact, "Drew Barrymore"), he decided to use the cash to bankroll this amusing film documenting his attempt to get a date with the star in 30 days. Using only this money, a digital video camera bought with a friend's credit card at Circuit City - a store that offered a 30-day return policy - and a whole lot of chutzpah, he and his brave crew try to set up the fabled date.
The guerrilla doc shows the gorilla-like Herzlinger (he's got some body hair issues) trying to use all his connections - he knows someone who knows Barrymore's hairdresser, for instance - to get close to the actor. In one sequence that will have film publicists rolling their eyes, he even convincingly fakes a VIP press pass for the Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle release party.
There's a bit of reality TV show hucksterism at work here, as when he shells out $75 for a psychic's advice or auditions Barrymore look-alikes to rehearse their eventual date. Hollywood casualties like Eric Roberts and Corey Feldman are only too happy to be caught in any film.
Herzlinger's own initially obnoxious, full-throttle charm wears us down, much as it does the people in the film. His gumption is exactly the kind of spirit that drives Hollywood, and I'm sure he and his co-directors will parlay this clever film into something bigger.