Danny’s family is concerned about how he is dealing with his blindness.
Danny (Chris Pine) is blind, and insecure. He doesn’t know if he’s handsome, and laments that he’s a virgin. He doesn’t use a cane, because he doesn’t like to think he’s blind. Everything in Danny’s life is zany. His closet-nudist doctor (Jane Seymour) strips in front of him (“Doc, are you naked again?”). His friend Jay (Pooch Hall) uses him to hustle basketball players. His brother Larry (Eddie Kaye Thomas), a driver, takes extra money from hookers so they can have private sex in the back of his limousine. His loquacious Italian family is very supportive, though. When they find out Danny has signed up for an experimental surgery that may give him sight, his mom says, “You’re a guinea! Not a guinea pig!” At the hospital, Dr. Perkins (Stephen Tobolowsky) tells Danny he’d be risking half his brain for a blurry gray image that wouldn’t even allow him to dodge objects. Still, Danny agrees. He also meets a nice Indian girl, a secretary named Leeza (Anjali Jay). Trying to help his brother, Lenny sets his brother up on a series of dates, each wackier than the next! There’s the extremely sensitive girl (Jayma Mays) who cries about how brave Danny is. An extremely aggressive woman. And a psychotic woman who blindfolds herself so she can see like him. Allegedly funny stuff. Danny still wants the surgery. His visits to the hospital allow him to get closer acquainted with Leeza. Leeza, though, is in an arranged marriage with Arvind (Sendhil Ramamurthy), an insensitive jerk.
Danny’s psychiatrist often undresses during his sessions.
Danny and Leeza go for a sweet little picnic at a baseball field, backed by a pleasant, twinkly acoustic soundtrack. They keep going on these dates and enjoying each other’s company, but when they kiss it’s too much for Leeza and she backs off. She knows her family will disapprove, and so much of her future has already been arranged for her. Tradition, etc. She breaks it to Danny, which is cruel after all their dating. It’s a very transparent situation, but he still blames it on the fact that he’s blind. “At the end of the day, you’d rather be with someone who can see rather than some asshole blind guy.” For a long time, the film just spins its wheels. Danny goes back on the bad date circuit. We see Leeza isn’t really into her arranged beau, and is resistant to him. Larry sets up a date with a girl who doesn’t know Danny is blind, and Danny rehearses the part. There’s some jokes about condoms, and then the big date. There’s every conceivable mishap, drawn out, but it works. He gets her back to his place, but after her wild erotic dance figures out he’s blind and leaves angrily. Just incredibly languorous padding.
Leeza and Danny have a picnic at a baseball field.
Danny does go through with the surgery and it works. He does have to wear cyber-glasses, though. There are tears when he sees his family and one friend for the first time. He goes around enjoying seeing, but the procedure begins failing almost immediately. Perkins says if he uses the glasses again, it will fry his brain! But he risks it all, crossing town to see the girl he’s wildly in love with the night she’s getting formally engaged. The glasses have stopped working, though, allowing him to give a speech about how beautiful she is, winning her over. There’s some last drama about his failed surgery, but basically that’s THE END.
Danny decides to go ahead with the risky eye surgery.
Blind Dating is one of those competently done indies that’s not very commercial in a way that the whole project is then effectively unsalvageable. Everyone banters loudly and theatrically, and gives broad performances. It moves from one slow, clunky scene to the next oh-so-snappy scene. It’s done as a sweet drama but has the insincerity of a weak sitcom. And that’s all if you go along with the premise! Otherwise, it’s obvious and insufferably overlong. Christopher Theo’s script is really unclever, witless stuff, and I kind of resent that he uses Indian culture as a plot device. Pine is likeable. It’s easy to see why they picked him as Captain Kirk. I was never convinced he was blind, but I did go along with the fact that he was playing a blind guy. Anjali Jay is cute. Together, they make a nice screen couple. They’re fine in such a toothlessly light indie rom-com. The film is very well directed by James Keach, much better than the script. Would I recommend it? I guess, but mostly to desperate middle-aged women. For the rest of us, there are better, stronger movies about love and/or the blind.
Danny and his friend Jay hustle some basketball players.
Danny recovers from tripping on a kid’s toy car at the ophthalmologist’s office.
Danny wears black high top chucks throughout. (He has worn them his entire life.) He enters the hospital for the first time and slips on a kid’s toy car. He falls back. It makes for a wacky moment for the trailer, but seems out of place in the actual sluggish film.
At a college class held in an auditorium, Danny feels his way down some steps.
Earlier, Danny, being defiant, feels his way down some steps, some place, but stumbles forward, knocking over some guy’s laptop.
But he doesn’t sense the guy sitting in the front row, and stumbles, knocking down the guy’s laptop computer.
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