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Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

The Wedding Date

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Judy Thorburn

The Wedding Date

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Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

YOU CAN POSTPONE “THE WEDDING DATE”

Like so many actors who first achieved fame on TV, Debra Messing is another hoping for super stardom on the big screen. It has happened for Clint Eastwood, Sally Field, Tom Hanks, Jim Carrey and most recently Jamie Foxx, to name just a few. Yet, for other performers such as Rosanne and Ellen DeGeneres, stars of their own Top rated TV sitcoms, when it came to headlining a theatrical movie, they flopped big time. It isn’t always easy making the transition from TV fame to film stardom.  Ask the cast of TV’s Friends who have moved on to the big screen. Jennifer Anniston has been the most impressive so far, but her film resume hasn’t yet turned her into a bonafide movie megastar. Only time will tell.

Now Debra Messing, the star of TV’s award winning sitcom Will and Grace tries to win audiences in her first lead role in a feature film.  I can’t say that she doesn’t have screen presence, because she does.  Debra is likable, adorable, pretty and a talented comedic actress. The problem isn’t her.  What doesn’t work is the weak script, a lackluster romantic comedy that is barely worth the standards of cable TV’s Lifetime Channel for women.  Deb’s role is basically the same neurotic character she plays on TV except without being surrounded by openly gay buddies. It would be interesting to see how she handles something completely different.

In The Wedding Date flame haired Debra plays Kat Ellis, a New York single gal in desperate need of a date to accompany her to sister Amy’s (Amy Adams) wedding in London.  Kat’s ex fiancé, Jeffrey (Jeremy Sheffield), the guy who dumped her, is going to be the best man and Kat wants to show up with a guy by her side to make him jealous. Nor would she want to disappoint her parents by coming without a boyfriend, God forbid!  Since, there isn’t any romantic interest in her life, she decides to find an escort for hire in the yellow pages at a rate of, and get this, $6,000. That premise alone is a big problem from the start.  It is hard to believe that someone that looks like Kat would have trouble finding a date, let alone having to pay for one.  But that’s just the beginning. Kat buys her high priced escort, hunky Nick (Dermot Mulroney) an airline ticket, but she doesn’t get to meet him until they get on the plane, nor does she clue him in on any pertinent details about her life or family. Like that makes any sense!

In fact there really isn’t much to this storyline overflowing with plot holes.  Best, it is a bland 87 minutes of fluff, nothing more.  From the get go it is predictable, so there is no surprise.  When all is said and done, all that’s learned is that a big secret Amy kept from her sister Kat was morally worse than paying for a male hooker.  How heavy is that?  I am woman, hear me snore.  I could have written a better screenplay while waiting for my car to be washed.

However, the scenery was great from where I was sitting, and I don’t just mean the views of London and the lush countryside estate, where Kat’s parents reside in England.  Mulroney, who never looked this hot, is the stud muffin “Yoda of Escorts”, and he gets to show off his well toned abs, pecs and buns (“straight out of the oven” as one character remarks).  But, he might as well be a cardboard figure or a page cut out of GQ because all he conveys is a one-dimensional character, not that any character has depth or gives us any reason to care about them. Mind you, nothing points to why this “simple business transaction”, as Nick puts it, should result in a love match, something that has never happened in his “escorting” career with hundreds of other women.  Throw me a bone with some sort of believability. But, nope, it isn’t there.

Of course, one element that is ever present in this genre is the funny friend or relative who throws in a few laughable zingers. In this case, its sassy, voluptuous cousin TJ (Sarah Parrish), who steals every scene she’s in with some of the best lines.

In a TV interview with David Letterman to promote this film, Messing said this is a “reverse Pretty Woman”, with the man, instead of a woman being objectified.  Well, just because you take an idea and give it a twist doesn’t mean it is going to work.  Maybe another writer and director could deliver a better take on this turnaround.   Attention, Garry Marshall.

My recommendation is to postpone The Wedding Date. Most likely the bad reception will mean you can find it as a cheap video or DVD rental before too long.  $6,000 - yeah, right!  A $3.00 charge for this Wedding Date, is more like it.