As the main attraction in The Wedding Date, the movies success rests squarely on Messing's shoulders. Yes, Dermot Mulroney is right there with her, but Messing is definitely the star of the show. Whether you ultimately determine shes lived up to the challenge depends on just how ready you are to accept her as the romantic interest in a movie that is cute but definitely not memorable.
Kat (Debra Messing) needs to find a boyfriend fast. Nick (Dermot Mulroney) gets paid to put out. And over in London, Kats spoiled, narcissistic younger half-sister Amy (Amy Adams) is about to walk down the aisle in her dream wedding. Surrounding the trio are Kats mean-spirited mom (Holland Taylor), her kindhearted step-dad (Peter Egan), a tormented ex-fiancée with a secret (Jeremy Sheffield), and Amys oblivious groom-to-be (Jack Davenport).
Comic relief is provided by Kats good friend, TJ (Sarah Parish), who pretty much says anything that pops into her head, the more raunchy the better. Unlike a lot of extraneous characters awkwardly inserted into movies for the purpose of providing comic relief and speeding the story up, youll actually look forward to Parishs appearance on screen as she delivers the best lines and the best performance - of the movie.
Debra Messing is Debra Messing. Love her in Will & Grace and the odds are youll adore her in The Wedding Date. Shes pretty, has proven she can do comedy, and despite the increasingly unbelievable plot twists, seems comfy in the role.
Ive always liked watching Dermot Mulroney and Im glad hes returned to the romantic comedy genre. He pulls off the part of a suave, intelligent, sensitive paid escort without ever making the guy come across as arrogant or cynical. Not exactly the most fleshed out of roles, Mulroney brings a little extra to the table and pads out the part so its not just simply a caricature of a male escort.
It All Boils Down To
"The Wedding Date" throws in a few serious moments and deals with a couple of issues not usually raised in romantic comedies. To disclose the issues would be to spoil the movies little twist and that I wont do. But I will say the movie loses steam and you start reaching for the lifeboats when it goes for the more dramatic moments. I dont usually advise anyone to play it safe, but The Wedding Date may have been one of the few times the 'stop before you hurt yourself' advice would have been well-suited.
The Wedding Dates ending is one of the most contrived in recent memory and begs the question, why even go there? Trust me, if/when you see The Wedding Date, youll know just what I mean. But keeping in mind this is a romantic comedy released in February (not the awards season), no one is going to hold the screenwriters feet to the fire over the movies trite conclusion.
"The Wedding Date" feels like a recycled version of half a dozen other romantic comedies. But despite it all, I enjoyed The Wedding Date. Ive already seen enough horrible movies in 2005 to hold me over for a few months. The onslaught of cinematic trash this January is enough to make me long for a fast forward button option in movie theaters. Amid all the junk, The Wedding Date was a breath of slightly stale air. Not original enough to be fresh and not dopey enough to make it horrible, The Wedding Date is one of those films you have to be in the romantic comedy frame of mind to sit through and enjoy. If that describes your mindset, then go for it - and take a date.
"The Wedding Date" was directed by Clare Kilner and is rated PG-13 for sexual content including dialogue.