An Interview with "My Date With Drew" Star Brian Herzlinger

by Leslie Halpern - Date: 2007-01-07 - Word Count: 651 Share This!

Most date movies are fictional stories about two people perfectly suited for each other, but enormous obstacles stand in their way. In the documentary film, "My Date With Drew," you would have a hard time finding anyone who thinks that fledgling filmmaker Brian Herzlinger and superstar Drew Barrymore are perfectly suited for each other. However, the obstacles to their ever even meeting - much less dating or falling in love - are certainly enormous.

"It's been a life-long dream of mine to meet Drew Barrymore," Herzlinger said during a phone interview when asked about the documentary he stars in, co-directs, co-produces, and co-edits. "Making this movie is a side effect of realizing my dream to meet the person who was pictured on my bedroom wall as I was growing up. Everybody has a similar dream."

When he won $1,100 on a game show with the answer "Drew Barrymore," he decided that fate was telling him to use the money to make his dream come true.

"Having had that crush on her all my life and that dream of meeting her, I decided that instead of using the money for rent, I would try to meet her, to get a date with her," he said. "And even if I didn't get the date, I would still document the journey on tape."

Based on an electronics store's lenient 30-day return policy (which has since been changed), he and producing partners Brett Winn, Jon Gunn, and Kerry David (a.k.a., The Drew Crew) hatched a plan to spend exactly 30 days and $1,100 documenting his quest for a date with the popular movie star. They also launched a website to generate interest among other Barrymore fans.

The movie details their trials and tribulations in gaining access to people surrounding Drew Barrymore. Herzlinger eagerly reveals his social ineptitude, physical flaws, and basic insecurities for all to see. The camera work is straightforward and simple - just a few notches better than a home movie. This is a study of character, not flashy filmmaking.

"We had no idea from one day to the next what was going to happen," Herzlinger said. "We were going to use six degrees of separation to try and get the date. Other than that, we also planned on going to the world premiere of "Charlie's Angels Full Throttle" in Los Angeles during those 30 days."

Throughout filming, the production team begged favors from everyone they knew. And everyone who knew everyone they knew. The goal was to find someone who could get Herzlinger a direct line to Drew so he could ask one simple question: "Will you go out with me on a date?"

Shot in L.A., New Jersey, and New York, the film was finished in three months, played at four film festivals to enthusiastic crowds, but took 18 months to get into theaters. Produced by Rusty Bear Entertainment and Lucky Crow Films in association with DEJ Productions, the documentary actually feels more like a romantic comedy.

Just look at what Herzlinger went through to put this movie together. Taking advantage of a store's return policy on expensive equipment. Making phone calls to everyone the crew knew and following dozens of dead-end leads. Designing and wearing fake press badges that could have gotten them thrown out or arrested at the "Charlie's Angels" premiere. Getting a facial and having body hair removed. Begging money from his parents to hold him over for awhile. Working out with a trainer to mold his body into shape in case the actual date occurred. Renting a Drew Barrymore look-alike for a practice date. Spending every waking hour for three months of his life chasing after a superstar.

So was it worth all that effort? Did he get the date? Herzlinger is reluctant to give anything away, but he does admit that he's glad he did it. "This journey was the wildest roller coaster ride of my life. It had the highest highs and the lowest lows."

Copyright 2007 Leslie Halpern

Related Tags: film, romantic, movie, date, comedy, documentary, drew barrymore

Central Florida entertainment writer Leslie Halpern wrote the popular gift book "Reel Romance. The Lovers' Guide to the 100 Best Date Movies" (Taylor Trade Publishing), which reviews date movies and suggests romantic ideas inspired by these films. Visit her website at: She is also the author of "Dreams on Film: The Cinematic Struggle Between Art and Science" (McFarland & Company), an analysis of representations of sleeping and dreaming in more than 125 movies. Both books are available from her website or at and

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