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The Wedding Date

Regurgitated Romantic Fare for the Terribly Foolish at Heart

It's the whole "stripper fantasy". The notion that the woman (or man) who is seductively writhing and undressing in front of you is doing so not because of the money you are shoving down their g-strings but because they are actually attracted to you. Guess again. It's their job to make you feel that way and, no, they don't secretly have the hots for you. The Wedding Date takes this indulgent fantasy to a whole new level.

Kat (Debra Messing who shows better, nuanced work in Tuesday night repeats of "Will and Grace") is a neurotic, insecure yet lovable mess who is still recovering from being dumped by her then-fiancÚ on the eve of their wedding. She's holed herself up in New York City and has shunned her family in London for two years lest they realize exactly how big a mess she really is. Thus, for her younger sister Amy's (Amy Adams) upcoming wedding to her ex-fiance's best friend (who will be in attendance as the best man), she has no other choice but to find hired help.

Her male escort comes in the form of the hunky Dermot Mulroney as Nick. Now, Nick isn't your usual jaded man-whore -- I'm sorry, personal companion. He's a comparative lit major, writes articles in national magazines and spouts psychological mumbo-jumbo with the best of them. He's the finest there is, which is why practically every line that comes out of his mouth seems rehearsed and played-out. But Kat is too desperate to notice. She, after all, needs to look like she is happy and doing that means pretending she's in healthy relationship with a hot man.

Needless to say, with all the estrogen and love in the air, it's no wonder that the two strike something up. Regardless of the fact that it comes out of left-field and makes no sense whatsoever. That you never really delve into Nick's past or point-of-view, doesn't help matters. While this movie does have its comedic moments, mostly due to Kat's loud-mouthed cousin TJ (a fantastic scene-stealing Sarah Parish) and charming father (Peter Egan), it is too little too late.

The Wedding Date is the less attractive cousin of My Best Friend's Wedding and Four Weddings and a Funeral. And perhaps even Pretty Woman's not-so-distant relative as well. Indeed there are many scenes that resound with these predecessors' genes, such as when an inanely perky bride (Amy) enthusiastically greets a taken aback Kat, a remnant of Cameron Diaz and Julia Roberts in the rehearsal scene from My Best Friend's Wedding. Also, as in the latter film, Mulroney is a Brown University graduate. Coincidence? -- I think not. The only thing that's missing is Hugh Grant. Shame, the film could have been funnier were he cast.

Rating: 2 stars out of 5