Academy AwardÂ(r) nominee* Ethan Hawke (Training Day) is irresistible (Los Angeles Times) as he romances Teri Polo (Meet the Parents) in this sexy, fast-paced comedy filled with more than a few unexpected twists (Leonard Maltin)! Sweet-natured Tom (Hawke) is obsessed with his beautiful neighbor Geena (Polo), but he's too shy to ask her out. Fortunately, Tom's older brother is there to set it up and lend a hand as well as cash, his car, his credit card and his suit. But before they've even ordered appetizers, a case of mistaken identity turns Tom's dream date with Geena into a nightmare. Soon, a wicked crime lord, a wacked-out delivery man and a pair of crooked cops are after Tom, determined to kill much more than the evening's romantic mood.
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A Risky Business clone with loftier ambitions, Mystery Date holds up surprisingly well despite its '80s teen-flick trappings. This was Ethan Hawke's follow-up to the successful family adventure White Fang, and it's fun to watch the fresh-faced future Mr. Uma Thurman playing a shy guy named Tom who's obsessed with his dishy neighbor Geena (then-newcomer Teri Polo, in '80s big-hair splendor). When Tom's criminally entangled brother (Brian McNamara) manipulates Tom into a mistaken-identity date with Geena, they soon find themselves chased by a crazed delivery driver (Fisher Stevens), a hot-headed L.A. detective (SCTV alumnus Tony Rosato), and a Chinese mob kingpin (B.D. Wong) whose henchmen are named Ben and Jerry (giving some indication of this movie's dim sense of humor). Plot twists proliferate, and Polo (who had to wait until 2000's Meet the Parents for another decent movie role) manages to flatten her funniest line of dialogue. All of which makes Mystery Date a hit or miss affair, but mostly it hits. --Jeff Shannon
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