It seems people mostly misunderstand the point of Cody's films altogether. I've been watching his films because as someone who watches a lot of films, including really low budget ones(go look at my reviews, they are mostly of low budget films). Low Budget Films have pitfalls, but so do Big or Moderate Budget films, and when coming into a movie, I believe it is important to not judge a low budget film by a moderate or big budget film standards or vice versa, it's just a poor way to judge a film. Yes, I am more gracious with low, especially micro budget films, because they are already fighting an uphill battle.
I'm gonna note up front that the sound has issues, it's not extremely distracting, but it could have been balanced out much better. The dialogue audio is not always very balanced. The lighting also suffers in any indoor scene, thankfully those are few and far between, and that is because I don't believe Cody uses any supplemental lighting. It is nice to see Cody uses a wider variety of shots than some of his films, but his cinematography is still not very sophisticated, and it feels bit choppy at times when it changes from one angle to the next, but still, it's an improvement, especially from films such as "Bed".
Despite those flaws, on a lot of levels, Mute Date succeeds, even though I expected to hate it based on the reviews I read on IMDB and Amazon. I thought it would be juvenille, sophmorish, and boring. Where this film shines the most is in the script. While at times, willfully sophmoric, one of the things I appreciate about Cody's films is that, generally speaking, the dialog is very natural(although I think "Bed" had far too many likes aka filler words), the dialog, save the last 20 minutes(by design), is very realistic. It feels like real people having a real conversation.
While it is at times the first 2, I would not call it boring. It also explores surprisingly deep themes in a way I have not seen before with it's clever plot device. One review on here claims it doesn't capture the awkwardness of the first date. Some clearly missed the whole point of the film, the date wasn't so much awkward because they were distracted by the novelty of the technology. I actually think this is fairly realistic, where normally you would be really awkward, especially on a blind date, you're not, simply because the greater awkwardness here is having the sudden ability to telepathically communicate.
The first 20 minutes of the film are definitely the slowest, they are not boring, but not too much happens, that is the setup for the rest of what happens, so it is heavier on exposition I suppose, as is the last 20 minutes. The middle section of the film is the strongest, I laughed so hard. No matter your politics, I think anyone who has had problems recently on social media with shadow banning or banned post will really appreciate a lot of the humor and stabs at social media companies and at hyper-sensitive people who leap on every wrong word spoken. I feel like this must have been a somewhat cathartic film to make.
Technically speaking, the acting is actually good. Not just for a a low-budget film, it's good. The only person I thought was reading from cue cards was the actress in the last 20 minutes, but I later realized that was by design and it makes sense by the end of the film.
The voice-overs unfortunately, can be a bit distracting at times and sometimes I wanted to hear more background noises, as they were mostly in public places, and it sometimes felt like the voice-overs were disjointed from the rest of what was going on. It wasn't a huge distraction, but every now and then, it cropped up on my radar. It is decently filmed, the cinematography, while not mind-blowing, is a step up from his other films "Bed" or "Shredder"(his first film). The sound editing again, is not the best, needs some work, but not it's not bad enough that it ruins the experience overall.
This is a high concept film, made in a very casual manner, it is a strange execution, but it mostly works. This is one of those concepts that could certainly be done with a larger budget, but I'm not sure it would be done better. I think of other similarly themed(both involve a technology that has the power to change how an individual interacts with others and is still being tested so to speak) sci-fi fi films such as "Reversion"(which I have reviewed), and honestly, the execution here is better than "Reversion", and "Reversion" has a much much higher budget. More money does not necessarily make a better film.
I would recommend this movie to people who are okay with micro-budget films, like their films a bit different, and that are not easily offended. Anyone else, should probably steer clear, than again, I guess bad press is better than no press. ;P This is a surprisingly subversive film, and to say much more would ruin the experience.
Review by betchaareoffendedeasily from the Internet Movie Database.