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Unoriginality grounds disappointing date film

Becca Saunders | Tuesday, February 8, 2005

All of the ingredients for success are present – the awkward girl, the suave guy, a wedding and a crazy set of parents. Yet somehow, “The Wedding Date” still manages to fall short of a becoming a memorable film. The romantic comedy starring Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney is disappointing not only in dialogue and acting, but also falls noticeably short in the smaller areas of costume, make-up and cinematography. The story is cute, a trademark of the typical romantic comedy. Messing plays the main character, Kat, who is a single New Yorker en route to her sister’s wedding in London where her ex-fiancé will be the best man. This information is all revealed very non-discretely in the first lines of the film exchanged between Kat and a messenger who never appears in the film again; this is just one example of the disappointingly simple script writing in the film. Kat, not wanting to appear at the wedding alone, opts to hire a male escort, Nick (Mulroney). Being a romantic comedy, at this point it is quite obvious that the two leads are going to end up falling for one another. “The Wedding Date” offers no surprises here. While the story is creative in and of itself and although at times it seems a bit of a spoof of “Pretty Woman,” it is a generally interesting precept. The biggest problem with the movie is the script. It seems that the screenwriter took what may have been an interesting novel and created a script that does not give the audience enough information to really believe in the budding romance between Kat and Nick.Overall the acting is not much more than mediocre. Messing, in what is still one of her first feature films, is not captivating enough to command the screen. Mulroney is the single redeeming aspect of the film with acting that is consistent with his character and that is performed well enough to captivate the attention of the big screen. The supporting actors are largely unmemorable, as is the film itself. Beyond the acting, the film itself is simply not well put together. The costumes are outdated and repetitive and the make-up on a number of the female actresses is noticeably bad. These are both small details in film making that generally go unnoticed. However, they are done so poorly in “The Wedding Date” that it is distracting. Furthermore, there are numerous other small mistakes such as a scene outside between Nick and Kat after they have been running outside in the rain. Kat is soaked and Nick has only a couple drops of water on his tuxedo. While this may seem like small points to pick at, they are all very noticeable and distracting. These small signs point to a lack of quality for the overall film.”The Wedding Date” is an interesting concept but there is simply not enough time dedicated to the development of the characters’ relationship to make their feelings for one another believable. The dialogue is poorly written and delivered. Beyond a few cute moments in the film, the main relationship between Kat and Nick is entirely unbelievable. “The Wedding Date” tries to win over the heart of the audience, but in the end it fails at this task as well.