Wedding Date, The

Reviewed By MP Bartley
Posted 01/17/06 02:12:08

"We should sue."
2 stars (Pretty Bad)

Seriously, I reckon if everyone who's wasted money on seeing this gets together and sues the producers for false advertising we could make millions.

'The Wedding Date' revolves around loser-in-love Kat (Debra Messing) who just can't get a date. This normally isn't too much of a problem except that it's her younger sister's wedding in England soon, and to make matters worse her ex-boyfriend, Geoffery (Jeremy Sheffield), who broke her heart is going to be there. So what does a woman who looks like Debra Messing do if she can't even get a date to fly to England with her, all expenses paid? Why, hire a gigolo of course! Enter Nick (Dermot Mulroney), who combines his crumpled good looks with an almost zen like outlook on life. Seriously, never has there been a man to combine oozing sexuality and philosophical insight like Nick.

The thing is, 'The Wedding Date' advertises itself as a romantic comedy, but it has one flaw. It's neither particularly romantic nor funny. Call me old-fashioned, but paying someone to go out with you and to pretend to like you just isn't romantic no matter what happens at the end. And funny? I seriously don't remember laughing once. You can tell they're stretching when they throw in a joke about Kat being an Air Supply fan. Yes, that's right, Air Supply. Have you stopped laughing yet?

Ah, I hear you thinking, maybe it's just been misrepresented and is actually a drama with romantic elements. Well, no, because this may be the least interesting 'conflict' ever put to screen. There's the inevitable falling outs and withheld family secrets, but there's no real interest generated in them. It's just totally lifeless. It lopes from point a to point b and then point c, without ever considering that bypassing point b might actually be more interesting.

There's one moment where Kat drunkenly withdraws a lot of money to pay Nick to sleep with her. They do it, she doesn't pay him but pretends not to remember, while he backs her up. But then he finds the money, realises what it's for and gets offended. Even though he's a male prostitute. Now if anyone can tell me what that's about could you please let me know? It doesn't even work in a "oh, if they only realised how silly they're BOTH being!!" way. It's just lazy writing, that makes both characters come off as totally unlikeable.

And that's probably the biggest problem that 'The Wedding Date' has. It's characters are resolutely unlikeable and/or extremely dull. Kat's family are horrendous, while the screenwriters are obviously reaching for 'wacky yet loveable' (and as an aside, seeing as this film has to transport its main characters to England for a wedding, where does said wedding take place? London obviously. Someday, some script writer will realise that England is more than one huge city with rolling hills outside). Kat doesn't fare much better, being an utterly pathetic drip. It's a major problem for a romantic comedy if you don't want to see your main character end up happy. Mulroney has the charm for this type of role, but only if he has the script to work with. Instead, he comes across as mainly smug and annoying with a little bit of sleaziness thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately he and Messing have zero chemistry together, never convincing anyone that they belong together, let alone fall for each other over the course of a weekend.

I've been to quite a few weddings in my life. Some are a funny, romantic blast from beginning to end, while some a car crash leaving you silently thinking "What they hell are they doing?! RUN NOW WHILE YOU STILL CAN!". 'The Wedding Date' is certainly not the former, and it doesn't even the misfortune to be the latter. Instead, it's more like the wedding of a very distant cousin you've been dragged along to. You don't know or care about either of them, you want the whole thing to be over as quickly as possible, and really, you'd much rather be at home doing something else.

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