The Wedding Date (2005)
Directed by Clare Kilner

Artistic & Entertainment Value
* * *

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Kat Ellis (Debra Messing), a wealthy young woman living in New York, needs a date she can show off for her sister's wedding in England, at which her ex-fiancé is going to be the best man. Since she is not involved with anyone, however, she pays a professional escort, Nick Mercer (Dermot Mulroney), to accompany her.

Clare Kilner's The Wedding Date is a pleasant if largely forgettable romantic comedy.

There is nothing in the film that is likely to awe the viewer, but it is always entertaining to watch. The narrative is entirely formulaic and predictable. The characters are rehashed, and the jokes are never especially funny. That said, the story does contain a sufficient number of saucy, romantic, uncomfortable, and dramatic moments for it to be engaging. Kat, though she seems unduly concerned about others' opinions of her, is charmingly nervous and always likeable, and Nick, in spite of being a gigolo, turns out to be remarkably wise, suave, and considerate.

The Wedding Date is particularly successful in its presentation of a vision of the sort of life many persons would like to lead. Thus, the protagonists' wealth, instead of making them come across as nasty parasites, serves only to provide these individuals with an opulent lifestyle about which the movie's viewers will be able to daydream. In fact, the heroine's spacious New York apartment, her parents' elegant London home, and the quaint country house where her sister's wedding is actually to be held all appear to have been lifted from the pages of some magazine that presents photographs of idealized, carefully decorated homes. What is more, Kat's acquisition of "the perfect man," who is admired by all her friends, the comeuppance suffered by her philandering ex-boyfriend, the numerous glamourous outfits she and her friends wear, and her various adventures all have a strong element of fantasy to them. They are, however, for this very reason, likely to delight many persons.

I will confess that I was not especially impressed by The Wedding Date, but I am sure that there are countless viewers who will find much in the film to enjoy.

Review by Keith Allen

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