WIN A DATE WITH TAD HAMILTON
Rosalee Futch (Kate Bosworth) works in the local supermarket in rural West Virginia with her best friends Pete (Topher Grace) and Cathy (Ginnifer Goodwin), but dreams to one day meet her big-screen idol, Tad Hamilton (Josh Duhamel). In a bid to clean up Tad’s bad boy image, Tad’s agent Richard Levy (Nathan Lane) and his manager, also named Richard Levy (Sean Hayes) devise a ‘Win A Date’ contest, which Rosalee enters. When she wins her dream-date, Rosalee is over the moon, but Pete is desperately upset, as he has been secretly in love with her all his life.
Review by Louise Keller:
A frivolous fantasy about dreams, Win A Date With Tad Hamilton is as sweet as candy. It may not have the verve of Robert Luketic’s Legally Blonde, but the Australian director injects plenty of charm in this romantic comedy targeted for an impressionable young female market. It hits the mark for the undemanding and much of the charm of the film lies in the innocence of the characters.
A Cinderella story with a twist, the story is wildly improbable, but this is not about realism, it’s about dreams. Firstly there’s Tad, who’s drop dead gorgeous and the date every girl dreams of. Tall, dark and seriously handsome he may be, but Tad Hamilton is not quite as perfect as his screen image promotes. Beyond his good looks, his lady-killing relies heavily on the wit from his movie scripts.
Besides, he’s out of work (or ‘between million dollar pay days’) as his concerned agent (Nathan Lane, always entertaining) points out. There’s nothing that’s sincere about Tad, but who needs sincerity when you’re six foot two, confident, charming, rich, bronzed with pecs that simply beg to be admired?
Making his feature film debut, soapie star Josh Duhamel is perfectly cast as Tad, and his courtship with Rosalee (sweetly played by Kate Bosworth, who impressed in Blue Crush) is most entertaining. The small-town mood is firmly established in the Piggly Wiggly supermarket, forming a stark contrast to Hollywood’s stretch limos and Tad’s dressing room, which resembling a clothing retail store.
Topher Grace’s love-sick Pete who wears sincerity like a badge, grounds the film with an endearing performance, while Ginner Goodwin’s brash Cathy and Octavia Spencer’s bartender with heart, have plenty of appeal. Grace (known for his role in the television series ‘That 70s Show’) brings humour to the love triangle, and there are some funny moments when he tries to show off in front of Tad by trying to teach him how to milk a cow and chop wood.
The path to true love is never smooth, and while there is never any doubt where the story is heading, it’s the details on the way that are more satisfying than the conclusion. There are a few good lines (my favourite is ‘Sometimes Goliath kicks the shit out of David’) and there’s an up tempo, pleasing soundtrack to keep us in the mood.
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WIN A DATE WITH TAD HAMILTON (PG)
CAST: Kate Bosworth, Josh Duhamel, Topher Grace, Nathan Lane, Sean Hayes
PRODUCER: Douglas Wick, Lucy Fisher
DIRECTOR: Robert Luketic
SCRIPT: Victor Levin
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Peter Collister
EDITOR: Scott Hill
MUSIC: Edward Shearmur
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Missy Stewart
RUNNING TIME: 93 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: 95 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: July 11, 2002
VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Universal
VIDEO RELEASE: August 18, 2004