Publicity Stills of "The Wedding Date"
(Courtesy from Shaw)

Genre: Comedy/Drama
Director: Clare Kilner
Starring: Debra Messing, Dermot Mulroney, Amy Adams, Peter Egan and Holland Taylor
RunTime: -
Released By: Shaw
Rating: PG

Release Date: 31 March 2005

Synopsis :

Kat Ellis (DEBRA MESSING) is looking for the right man. NOW.

The position comes with a few requirements: willingness to travel, keen social skills, good looks, suave demeanor, sharp mind…and a tux. The qualified candidate should also have (though not required) the ability to make ex-boyfriends jealous, to turn heads whenever entering a room and to reduce any woman within eye- and earshot to a weak-kneed, besotted admirer.

Kat wouldn’t be so urgently in need were it not for her spoiled, gets-everything-she-wants half-sister’s wedding where the best man happens to be Kat’s handsome ex-boyfriend. What’s worse, the currently single Kat has to schlep all the way from New York—where she’s made her life—to London, where her wildly dysfunctional family lives. That’s one long, thankless trip to take solo.
And since the wedding is happening, oh, next weekend, Kat does what any enterprising single woman would do—she tracks down and hires a professional. So what if her solution crosses a few morally dubious lines plus costs her a tidy six thousand bucks which she’ll have to drain from her 401K? And so what if her escort happens to be…well, an escort? Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Lucky for her that her hiring skills are pitch-perfect and she zeroes in on smooth heart-stopper Nick Mercer (DERMOT MULRONEY), one of New York’s better known and in-demand professional male escorts who’s quite, uh, well-equipped for the task. Once in England, the insightful and charismatic Nick—part actor/part shrink/part bon vivant—helps Kat navigate the choppy waters of her screwy family and caddish old flame Jeffrey (JEREMY SHEFFIELD) and convinces everyone he meets that he and Kat are, indeed, an item.

As Nick charms Kat’s parents, Bunny and Victor Ellis (HOLLAND TAYLOR and PETER EGAN), her self-absorbed half-sister Amy (AMY ADAMS), Amy’s fiancée Edward (JACK DAVENPORT), as well as every living, breathing woman within a 100-kilometer radius, Kat too finds herself feeling things she’s never felt before.

For Kat, what begins as merely a face-saving ruse with a dashing guy-for-hire—strictly a business arrangement—quickly starts to become more than she ever expected. But love doesn’t come cheap…

Movie Review:

Inexplicable Fantasy Romance for the Harried Modern Gal 101 is a more fitting title for this male version of Pretty Woman.

In a nutshell, Will & Grace's Messing plays Kat Ellis, who, in the film's exceedingly quick set-up, scours the NYC positions-wanted advertisements for a male escort to accompany her to her sister's wedding in England, with the aim of making her ex-boyfriend jealous enough to take her back. The rest as we should have guessed is the same boring formula.

The script, courtesy of newcomer Dana Fox, takes off in all directions, with familiar intrigue, randy British best friends, and the hard, hard lessons of love with a too predictable surprise when Kat begins to fall for the professional, and vice versa. The only question is how and when will it be most inconvenient, and that's accomplished by lifting what feels like whole chunks of plot maneuverings from the battered back stories book of Richard Curtis, the screenwriter behind Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, and Bridget Jones's Diary, any one of which has an easier way with the audience's suspension of disbelief than this disastrous date.

What makes "The Wedding Date" spectacularly lackluster is that Messing and Mulroney have no chemistry. "Pretty Woman" had a similarly seamy premise but was redeemed by the fact that Richard Gere and Julia Roberts play off each beautifully. Messing, in a role that's too close to her sitcom roots makes a valiant effort and does have a knack for physical comedy. The normally solid Mulroney strolls through the film projecting a sense of indifference. To his credit, he seems to know that the material is wanting, but his doubts become contagious to viewers.

Romantic comedies require a little bit of wit and love. It starts off with a risky setup but still feels curiously lifeless. Despite toying with prostitution, an idyllic British setting and family dysfunctions, screenwriter Dana Fox and director Claire Kilner manage to drain anything witty, romantic or even interesting from the final film.

Movie Rating: C

Review by Lokman B.S.

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