Director: Clare Kilner
Starring: Debra Messing, Dermot Mulroney, Amy
Adams, Peter Egan and Holland Taylor
Released By: Shaw
Date: 31 March 2005
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
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
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
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
Fantasy Romance for the Harried Modern Gal 101 is a more fitting
title for this male version of Pretty Woman.
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.
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.
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.
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.
by Lokman B.S.