30 years ago, this movie changed our minds about blind dates
Back in 1987, Bruce Willis, Kim Basinger and John Larroquette were just beginning their hikes into stardom.
Willis was in the first few seasons of Moonlighting, and Die Hard was just a year away from theaters. For Larroquette, he was tearing up the small screen as “Dan Fielding” on TV’s Night Court. Basinger had caught movie-goers attention with Never Say Never Again, The Natural and 9 1/2 Weeks.
And then came Blind Date, a movie that was not so ironically just like an actual blind date: How it was depended on whom you asked.
The movie - directed by Blake Edwards - followed Ted (Willis) and Nadia (Basinger), who are set up on a blind date by relatives. Ted is warned that letting Nadia drink will be a big mistake, and so of course he immediately grabs a bottle of wine for the evening. And things get really uncomfortable when Nadia’s ex-boyfriend (Larroquette) begins stalking them all night. You probably can guess the rest.
Blind Date’s script, it turns out, was rewritten so many times that even the original author disavowed the movie by the time it reached theaters.
In the end, critics mostly hated it. Blind Date holds a dubious 22 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences, though, mostly loved it. The movie was a financial success and opened No. 1 at the box office the weekend of March 27, 1987.
Perhaps the late Roger Ebert summed up the paradox best in his review: “Is the movie worth seeing? Gee, I dunno. Most of the time I wasn't laughing. But when I was laughing, I was genuinely laughing - there are some absolutely inspired moments. This is the kind of movie that serves as a reminder that comedy is agonizingly difficult when it works, and even more trouble when it doesn’t.”
Here are five more things you probably didn’t know about Blind Date on its 30th anniversary.
1. Despite a bit (and uncredited) role as a courtroom observe in 1982’s The Verdict, Blind Date was the first film credit for Willis. (Despite the TV fame for Willis at the time, Basinger got top billing.)
2. Sean Penn and Madonna were originally supposed to be cast as the couple, but uncertainty over the movie’s direction (and director) put an end to that.
3. Basinger and Edwards had worked before on 1983’s The Man Who Loved Women. Basinger was also considered for the role of Jenny in Edwards’ flick 10. (The role went to Bo Derek instead.)
4. Guitarist Stanley Jordan appears as himself (and a friend of Ted’s) performing Treasures. It’s his only credited film appearance.
5. If the pool at the end of Blind Date looks familiar, there’s good reason. It was also used in the music video for Magic by The Cars.