News | Community | Business | Sports | Health | Columns | Fun & Games | Classifieds | Shopping | Subscribe | Police & Fire | Archive | Staff | Home
by Tim Riley - Feb. 2, 2005
“WEDDING DATE” MARKS THE CONVENTIONAL ROMANTIC COMEDY
THE WEDDING DATE
For a romantic comedy with two attractive leading characters, “The Wedding Date” might just make for a decent date movie. And then again, it might not. After all, the take on love and courtship is a bumpy ride when the foundation for romance is built on a rather flimsy, unrealistic premise. That this movie is based on Elizabeth Young’s novel “Asking for Trouble” seems rather telling. Aren’t the filmmakers asking for trouble when turning pretty, vivacious Debra Messing into a desperate woman who must summon the help of a gigolo for a pretend relationship?
Plagued by insecurity and self-doubt, Messing’s Kat Ellis is an airline agent based in New York. She has an endless supply of clothes, yet very little savvy for love and romance. Jilted by her former fiancé years ago, Kat has yet to recover emotionally. This explains why she is so easily intrigued by a story in the Sunday New York Times magazine about a popular male escort whose philosophical views on relationships cuts through the emotional baggage.
Carrying her own heavy mental load, Kat is put on edge by the upcoming marriage of her younger British half-sister to take place in England. It’s bad enough to be the older spinster sister. The real shocker is that her ex-boyfriend Jeffrey (Jeremy Sheffield) is the best man at the wedding of Edward (Jack Davenport) and her sister Amy (Amy Adams). To make her old flame jealous, Kat hires the services of professional male escort Nick Mercer (Dermot Mulroney), the subject of the magazine article.
Now, it seems wildly improbable that someone like Kat would drain her 401(k) of $6,000 to hire Nick for an all expenses paid week long trip to London. But that’s the price of desperation for her to convince her faithless ex-beau and dysfunctional family members that she rebounded quite nicely. That Kat’s family is kind of screwy is obvious from the moment we meet her obnoxious, loudmouth mother Bunny (Holland Taylor) and self-absorbed sister. The only decent person in the lot is the well-bred stepfather Victor (Peter Egan), a sensitive, caring gentleman.
Nick is well-equipped for the task at hand, something that becomes apparent to Kat when he unexpectedly steps out of the shower, revealing more his well-toned upper body. Smooth as silk, though he doesn’t move too gracefully in a tuxedo, Nick acts the part of an insightful confidant, dispensing pearls of wisdom and pithy observations. It’s little wonder that Kit tells everyone that he’s a therapist, and in a perverted sort of way, that’s the truth of the matter.
A bon vivant, Nick charms Kat’s parents, the ditzy half-sister and everyone in sight, especially the gushing female friends eager to stage a naughty bachelorette party. The most randy member of the party is Kat’s cousin TJ (Sarah Parish), who can never resist the wisecracks and sexist remarks, as she ogles Nick’s “fresh out of the oven” buns. For all of Nick’s sex appeal, it is something of an astonishing revelation that he was a comparative literature major at Brown University. But then, you might share my instant thought that an Ivy League education is overrated.
“The Wedding Date” suffers the predictable path of most romantic comedies. Circumstances conspire to bind Kat and Nick much closer together than a mere $6,000 would afford. What is to remain a platonic relationship behind closed doors is soon unraveled by a confluence of events. First, they must share the same bed, where Kat erects a Maginot line of pillows to prevent an unwanted intrusion. After all, a sexual liaison would cost extra, and the exchange rate of dollars for British pounds is none too favorable right now.
Funny it is that a girls-night-out binge and heavy drinking lead to lack of inhibitions. After a night of lust and sexual abandon, Kat wakes up in the morning only to have no memory of clinching the deal with Nick. That, in turn, leads to the predictable regrets and bad feelings, only for the inevitable turnaround to come later, when in the fashion of “Pretty Woman” Nick and Kat realize they are probably right for each other.
Conventional in approach, “The Wedding Date” is wholly satisfactory in its formulaic take on the mix of romance and comedy. The leading actors are appealing and charismatic, and the gorgeous British scenery is dazzling. The laughs are in sufficient if not abundant supply, and so the overall experience is not too shabby.
*Dixon's only locally owned hometown paper: Delivered by US mail to over
6500 homes every week!*
*Located at 529 North Adams Street Suite A Dixon Ca. 707-678-8917. Content © 2000-2005 D.I.V.*
This page last updated on 08/02/2009 10:36:17 PM
You are visitor since 2/10/2005