Dating Games People PlayFrom the opening frames of Dating Games People Play, as Nick Jenkins (Austin Peck of Days of Our Lives fame) asks his fiance if they can postpone their impending marriage and is met with a shrill barking “You’re getting married whether you want to or not!” it’s clear what kind of cliches and stereotypes writer/director/producer (and costar) Stefan Marc will be pulling out for his directorial debut: the cliched cliches and the stereotyped stereotypes. By that I mean the cliches that are so cliche that it’s cliche to call them out as such, and the stereotypes that are so stereotypical they’re not even worth mentioning.

Dating Games People Play, the story of one man’s (incredibly quick) reimersion into the dating game, isn’t a bad film in every sense of the word, though finding redeeming qualities here is a bit of a stretch. Its best aspect is its inherent lightness. Whether intentionally or not Marc never seems to take his characters seriously and so we’re not asked to either. This gives the audience the chance to laugh at our hero’s struggles with his business and our heroinne’s issues with her boyfriend sleeping with her brother (yes you read that right), whether or not they’re intentionally funny. Every plot turn is danced around as if it were never intended to be more than fodder for a cheesy inuendo or an oft-cited pun. Through the few moments of clarity a genuine lack of inventiveness and ingenuity shines through like a beacon of mediocrity.

It’s hard to discuss the plot, mainly because there isn’t much of one: Boy breaks off marriage, boy loses financing for business, boy gets girl, loses girl, gets girl back. Roll credits. In the middle there are a few attempts at comedy, though most miss their mark. The acting is painfully dull, with our two leads looking like they stepped out of an Irish Spring commercial and into a love story. The supporting love story between Stefan Marc and Stephanie Brown is even more forced, though Marc manages to come off as the most likable of the bunch. Asking audiences to accept cheesy love stories is no big deal these days, as films like P.S. I Love You even recruit the likes of Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler, but it’s the complete predictability of this film that will leave audiences a little less than impressed.

Zach’s Rating: D
Perfect For: Anyone who wishes there were a Sweet Home Alabama Part 2
Stay Away if: You look for anything new in a film
Watch for: A character making special use of a vacuum cleaner

To purchase Dating Games People Play, visit Amazon

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