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The Wedding Date

Two Prostitutes And A Wedding                     75776708
Hollywood Stoops To Profit
By Cole Smithey

Only ditzy American white girls will enjoy this "Four Wedding’s and A Funeral" knockoff that was obviously penned by that same gum-chewing dyed-hair breed. They were certainly the only audience members laughing during the multi-culti screening that I attended. One-note television actress Debra Messing plays an emotional wreck who takes it upon herself to spend $6000 (taken from her 401k) to pay an escort (Dermot Mulroney – "About Schmidt") to accompany her to her sister’s wedding near her parent’s home in London, with the intention of making her ex-fiancé jealous. If this sounds to you like a good premise for a movie, then read no further and go witness for yourself Hollywood operating from its lowest aspirations.

Kat Ellis (Messing) is a cartoon version of a privileged woman who’s read a lot of magazines but not many books. She’s the kind of chic who starts taking Zoloft because all of her friends are doing it. To her sex is something that’s done as a last resort and even then preferably in a drunken state. ‘Terminal sorority girl’ is one way of describing the arrested developmental state that Kat occupies, and it’s one that Debra Messing employs as a cipher of bad ideas.

For his part, Nick Mercer (Mulroney) isn’t that far removed from the American gigolo that Richard Gere played in the late ‘70s. He might not speak any foreign languages, but Nick understands that less is more in social conversation, and in any intimate context he’s careful to retain an intellectual upper hand by delivering condescending third-rate psychological analysis that guides his prey in whatever direction he chooses. When Nick first imposes his chiseled naked body on Kat, he tells her lies about how he came to be a prostitute before retracting his dysfunctional family story by saying the he was just "screwing" with her. Certainly Kat is a horny woman who hasn’t yet come to terms with the physical work she will have to perform for sex to become part of her life again, but she isn’t prepared for the mental heavy lifting either.

"The Wedding Date" is a lazy movie with a lazy title and that’s filled with indolent characters. Kat can’t even be bothered to go on a few dates in order to find a guy she might want to take to her sister’s wedding. It’s easier to hire a gigolo who she can enlist in a relationship because he’ll fit her idea of physical charm and share her proclivity for short cuts in life. There’s really nothing at stake for either Kat or Nick save for the sexually transmitted disease she might catch. The subject is never broached.

As we’re in giggling white-girl-romantic-comedy-land there are plenty of scenes of the bridesmaids whooping it up, and of limousine rides through London with Kat and her sister drunkenly tilting their heads back as they extend out of the limo’s sunroof. There’s hardly an antagonist in sight until it’s revealed that Kat’s soon-to-be-married sister Amy (Amy Adams) was cheating on her betrothed husband with Kat’s ex-fiancé. This fluffy late reveal subplot replaces the necessary and sticky public disclosure of Kat’s hunky new boyfriend (yes their romance blooms) as a male prostitute.

Director Clare Kilner ("How To Deal") and first-time screenwriter Dana Fox ended up with the logline "Love doesn’t come cheap" to describe their movie. But "The Wedding Date" is a movie that lamely attempts to disprove the assertion by showing that any American bimbo can buy a prostitute and live happily ever after. To that end, I think a more appropriate logline would be "Goodbye and good riddance."

Rated PG-13 90 mins. (F)  (Zero Stars)

July 10, 2005 in Comedy | Permalink