THE WEDDING DATEPG-13
The Wedding Date is nothing less and certainly nothing more than the contemporary, cross-pond rendering of a fairy tale for easy-to-please females in their teens through mid-20s. Although dumbed down for easy digestion by romantically inclined young ladies, this Valentine bon-bon might prove watchable to a smattering beyond the damsel demo, thanks to some bright performances and plenty of postcard-pretty Brit sets and scenery.
The premise for all this finery is plum-pie simple, a sugary borrowing from films like My Best Friend's Wedding or the big fat Greek one, mixed with the spicy, cheeky Brit pizzazz of Bridget Jones, Wimbledon or Four Weddings and a Funeral. But beneath the gloss, this latest entry in the get-the-girl sweepstakes is as predictable as a church ceremony and witless as the pastor's blessings, leaving one to ponder this wedding's "reception."
The film is all about Kat Ellis ("Will & Grace" star Debra Messing), a young Manhattan woman who hires sight unseen Nick Mercer (the ubiquitous Dermot Mulroney), a hunky male escort, to be her date at her half-sister Amy's (Amy Adams) posh wedding in London. After a round of dazzling Manhattan exteriors, Kat and audience are swept away via duly promoted Virgin Airlines to a fair-weather London, sun-soaked by day, balmy by night.
No wedding, of course, is worth an hour and a half without its complications. Thus, Kat must deal with problematic parents: Bunny (Holland Taylor) is her overbearing Yank mom living with stepfather Victor (Peter Egan), who is the father of the bride. Amy is a hottie, even hotter than half-sis Kat, so a rivalry resurfaces. Amy's groom Edward (Jack Davenport) is a good chap, but not so his best man Jeffrey (Jeremy Sheffield), who had been Kat's boyfriend for seven years before dropping her cold.
As for Kat and her date, paid a cool $6,000 to play her latest boyfriend, they engage in the usual on-again, off-again games engaged in by attractive movie couples thrown together by unusual circumstances. You can think back to the seminal It Happened One Night to get the idea. Things get messy when it is revealed that Jeffrey broke off with Kat because he was having a thing with Amy. And tension is attempted when Nick tries to escape to the States before the ceremony.
The Wedding Date offers plenty of de rigueur ingredients: trendy interiors, gorgeous rustic exteriors, perfect blond children, a perfect London flat, perfect country home, perfectly dressed ladies in large-brimmed hats, and a tart-tongued friend (Sarah Parish) who dares to put into naughty words much of the sexual interplay that is underplayed in deference to the intended young audience. Of course, the film is powered by a lively pop soundtrack and an aware script that makes clear that Air Supply is not a cool group.