August 27, 2005

DVD Review: The Wedding Date

Being a guy, I'm not supposed to like films like this, the alleged "chick flicks." Being a film lover, I'm supposed to be able to like all genres of film. I have discovered that there are a few genres that I naturally am attracted too, but I have also discovered that I can enjoy films from just about any genre. The romantic comedy is no exception. It is not my genre of choice, but there are some wonderful films that would fall under this category. So far as good ones go, this isn't.

Let's see if I can set the stage. Kat (Debra Messing) is going home to her family in England for her sister's wedding. The catch is that she needs a date, so a montage is used over the opening to imply that she hires an escort (Dermot Mulroney). Once they meet it is off to the sitcom races. They get to the wedding party where they must pretend to be a couple amidst all of the clich├ęd family members and circumstances that the writer can throw at them.

The supporting cast has all of the usual suspects. We have the lovable step father, the condescending mother, the center of attention sister, the goofy sidekick, the ex that you nay not want back. The plot careens from character to character with no real sense of focus, or attempt at development. It plays like a half baked sitcom script, possibly a rejected Will & Grace thread?

This marks Debra Messing's first shot at headlining a movie, even if it does play like a TV movie. As much as I think I could enjoy Debra's acting, I've never much cared for Will & Grace and always marvel at how it has lasted so long. I think that she has some great screen presence, what she needs is a stronger script, and a cast which has more chemistry. No one really seemed to fit. That brings us to Dermot Mulroney, I think he may have been hanging out with Keanu Reeves prior to making this movie, either that or he needed the paycheck and was just so bored that that's the way he decided to play the role, bored and aloof. He almost transcends the boredom and attains a zen-Yoda like state where he understands women more than women understand themselves. Well, I think he was just bored, and new the script was weak.

It was maddening to watch as the story sputtered along nothing quite seemed to fit together. The characters had no life other than what the script had defined. In other words, they were just empty shells used to move the story along, I couldn't imagine these characters having a life outside of the content of the movie. Of course, they aren't given much time to develop, the end credits begin at the 78 minute mark, making this rather on the lean side. I think it would be best to just leave this one behind and go on to something else.

Like I said way back at the beginning, I'm not supposed to like these movies, but there are cases where I do. This is still not one of those times, I would recommend Down With Love and Love Actually, and even Pretty Woman before this.

Video. The video is decent, there is good color separation and skin tones are good. There are no effects shots to worry about, nothing to complain about here. It is also presented in it's OAR of 1.85:1.

Audio. Presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and it is an OK track, dialog seemed to be a bit on the low side, but there was no hiss or crackle evident. Again, nothing to complain about.

Extras. There are a few extras on the disk.
First up there are about ten minutes worth of deleted scenes, which wouldn't have really added anything to the film. Then we have a featurette called "A Date with Debra." This runs about 7 minutes and has Debra relating some tales from the set, not terribly interesting. Finally there is a commentary track with our star, there were so many gaps that at times I forgot I had the track on. Needless to say, nothing of real value was added here. I have found some people should not do these tracks by themselves, this is evidence to that.

Bottomline. Anemic extras, weak script do not a good package make. Too bad. I think Messing will one day find that role that will give her a film career, but she has to shed the Grace mold first. This one is best left on the shelf.

Not Recommended.

Also at Blogcritics.

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