rf_ucsd Posted February 1, 2004 Share Posted February 1, 2004 NO SPOILERS BELOW Win a Date With Tad Hamilton! A Pretentious Review Let's not avoid the obvious: How does this movie compare to The Butterfly Effect (TBE)? Even though Grace shows us the same on-screen charm that made him one of the unsung stars of Traffic as well as the anchor of their TV show (That 70's Show), this movie is nothing compared to Kutcher's. But TBE, though very good, is "just" an above-average movie - what a movie experience should be. How bad is a movie if it's "nothing" compared to that? It has to be bad. Really bad. It has to be painfully bad in a way that makes you question how it could have possibly looked any better as a screenplay. That's how bad Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! (Tad) is. It's painful. You wonder why the movie was made, why the actors accepted their roles, and why the production company didn't just cut their losses at some point. Overstating the case? Possibly. Maybe in a few months I'll be able to make a better evaluation. Where TBE was humble in its production and performance, confident that the story was enough to carry the viewer though, the insecurities of Tad are evident from the beginning. The opening credit sequence features glamourized eighties tech-pop music over animated shots of Tad Hamilton. Though it tries to establish Tad's celebrity, it becomes redundant when the opening scene features an audience viewing one of his movies. Wouldn't that have been enough to establish his star? The sequence ends up being trite, a quality that's pervasive throughout the movie. Two minutes after the sequence ends, Kate Bosworth's character is sighing wantingly during the credit sequence of a Hamilton movie. Nevermind that her character is about 8-10 years too old to be your cookie cutter New Kids fan-derivative: It fits in perfectly with her Piggly Wiggly, living with her loving father in West Virginia world. All of these cliches are etablished over the first three minutes, a relatively slow pace compared to the rest of the movie. What is the movie about? Rosalee Futch (Bosworth) wins a date with Tad Hamilton (Josh Duhamel), a hunky, young Hollywood actor whose management team organizes a online blind-date contest to clean up his party-boy imagine. Flown out to Los Angeles from West Virgina, Rosalee finds that despite living in a fast-paced, glamourous world, Hamilton is wholesome enough to appeal to her small town values. Oh yeah: He's really good looking. After a date which includes vomiting in a limosuine and taking out a retainer at the table, Hamilton sees something in Rosalee's values that brings clarity to his confusing world. He flies back to West Virginia to get away from his big city troubles. Soon he's fallen in love with Rosalee. It doesn't hurt that she's also really good looking. But back in West Virginia there's Pete (Topher Grace), Rosalee's superior at the Piggly Wiggly (yes, the Piggly Wiggly), her after hours drinking buddy, and an unrequited love. Rosalee's trip to Los Angeles, along with Pete's impending departure for college, motivates Pete to seize the relationship he's always wanted. Obstensibly inferior to Hollywood Tad, his passive courting of Rosalee sets up the movie's love triangle. No, really. What is the movie about? It is about an old Hollywood formula given another spin. This movie is Sabrina: Grace plays Linus; Duhamel plays David; Bosworth plays Sabrina. Just as in this formula's other incarnations, there's a flimsy ediface that creates the love triangle, but in the end it's the same question: Packaging or content. The main problem with this incarnation is there's little to no effort the develop the ediface. A great supporting cast is put to waste with pedestrain dialogue and undeveloped (or non-existent) secondary storylines. Why you would like this movie: Grace, Nathan Lane, Sean Hayes, and Ginnifer Goodwin all give charming performances. Each time one of them would come on scene my hope for the movie would suddenly regain a faint pulse. But these four don't carry much screen time, and although Duhamel is fine as Tad Hamilton, the rest of the cast isn't strong enough to carry the film through it's short comings. Why you wouldn't like this movie: You have a pulse. Bosworth is out of her element. At this point in her career she's not a lead performer. True, she was the lead in Blue Crush, but that movie did not require anybody to carry the film. The surfing was the lead performer. Here, Bosworth doesn't do enough to portray the conflict of her situation or the awkwardness of Pete suddenly playing for her affections. This movie lacked imagination in every element except some of the acting. The direction is trite. The shots are canned. The writing is cliched. The idea is wrong. Overall On my 1 to 9, this movie gets a 3-, and I am having a difficult time justifying rating it so high. This was the worst movie I've seen in eight months. I felt patronized walking out of the theater. It is as if the producers said "Let's get a bunch of young, good looking stars and put them in a love-triangle movie. "That should sell." If this movie continues to tank, we should all be better off for it. Feel free to give me feedback on what you've read above. I post because I want to talk about the movie as well as improve my writing skills. Feel free to send me a PM. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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