Wedding Date, The

Reviewed By Elaine Perrone
Posted 02/04/05 18:16:10

"Pretty 'Ho Man."
2 stars (Pretty Crappy)

The Wedding Date is just wrong, on so many levels. It is an utter failure as a rom-com because it is neither romantic nor comical. Its characters are not only poorly drawn but also thoroughly obnoxious – mean-spirited, morally ambiguous, and manipulative. Its writer, Dana Fox, had the temerity to steal elements from not one but three fine movies of the genre – Pretty Woman, Four Weddings and A Funeral, and My Best Friend's Wedding – and still managed to come up empty. Not content to deliver a story devoid of charm or wit, she created one that is insulting to every member of her sex, and to a lot of men in the bargain.

Without even a set-up to allow the audience any feel for personalities, Fox launches into her tale with all the grace of a sudden fart. As the story goes, Kat (Debra Messing), a neurotic woman in her late-30s, has withdrawn $6,000 from her 401(k) to hire a gigolo, Nick (Dermot Mulroney), to escort her to her sister's wedding in London. Seems she wants to upstage her sister (Amy Adams), with whom she is fiercely competitive, and pique the jealousy of her ex-fiancι (Jeremy Sheffield), who is to be the groom's best man. Nice.

When the two arrive at her parents' estate in London, Kat gets all fluttery and virginal when her mother (the wonderful Holland Taylor, criminally wasted) puts them in the same bedroom. In one particularly laughable scene, Nick emerges from the shower and drops his towel, to the horror of Kat, whose response would lead one to believe she had never seen a penis. Hmmm...Now that I think about it, there's a plot twist saved for later that could lead one to believe that perhaps the character really had never seen one!

Later, after a boozy bachelorette party, Kat has a change of heart and empties out an ATM so that she can seduce Nick and then pay him. By this time, of course, Nick, too, has had a change of heart and fallen – for no discernible reason – in love with Kat. He is hurt that she has proffered money for their night of passion, and saddened that she doesn't remember having had sex with him. She, in turn, is offended when he RETURNS ALL THE MONEY. (I, in turn, want to know how dumb this 37-year-old woman can be, that she could wake up and detect no evidence whatsoever that she had sex the night before.)

In the end, Nick turns out to be the most likable – or perhaps least unlikable – character, and writer Fox insults and alienates her entire female audience once and for all, after she has shown the true colors of the three witches she created. There is Kat, the spoiled, self-centered, self-proclaimed victim; her insensitive mother, who delivers a particularly cruel wedding "toast" at Kat's expense; and her manipulative sister, a user and abuser of anyone who happens to have the misfortune to cross her path.

At one point, Kat quips, "It's nothing that a bottle of Jack and a straight razor won't fix." Yep, she's got that right.

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