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This movie is definitely a "chick flick." Both male leads are played
pretty well. Josh Duhamel portrays the self-absorbed actor well, but
has difficulty being believable when he is supposedly being sincere. Of
course, maybe that's the point. Topher Grace, on the other hand, is
able to portray an emotion in very subtle ways, and is therefore
perfect as the inwardly-tortured old friend.
Kate Bosworth's character seems to be quite one-dimensional, and not always consistently. She is overly naive, even for a small town hick. I get the impression that the Hollywood types who wrote her part have never been to a small town, or at least, not since the 50s. There are sweet, wholesome people in this world, but they are more realistic than this girl. It is difficult to ascertain who the protagonist is. Is it Topher or Kate? His character has more depth than hers, but it appears that the story revolves around her.
Nathan Lane and Sean Hayes provide much-needed comedy and interest to the story. I found myself looking forward to their appearances on-screen. Funny moments and a few good performances make it worthwhile, but I definitely believe it will appeal more to us women than the men.
`Win a Date with Tad Hamilton' is a predictable fairy tale romance that skates by on the cleverness of its premise and the charm of its performances. Kate Bosworth stars as Rosalee Futch, a small town girl from West Virginia who has a mad crush on a hot Hollywood stud named Tad Hamilton. One day she enters a contest on the Internet, the prize being an all-expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles to spend an evening with her dreamboat. Rosalee, of course, wins the contest and has her magic fantasy moment, whereupon she flies back home, expecting to file the experience away in her heart as the high point of her life and then continue her humdrum existence working at the local Piggly Wiggly. What Rosalee doesn't anticipate is that Tad will be so smitten with her genuine goodness and unpretentious nature that he will wind up traveling to West Virginia in order to get to know her better. Complicating matters is the fact that Rosalee's long time friend and boss, Pete, is secretly, madly in love with her and isn't about to give her up without a fight to this fancy, flashy dude from Hollywood.
Given the premise, the makers of this film could, with a bit more self-confidence, have made a keen, hard-edged satire about the role celebrity-worship plays in the lives of ordinary folks. Instead, they've opted to take a softer, less abrasive approach, settling for a more conventional love triangle that still manages to win us over despite the formulaic nature of the story. The best part about `Win a Date with Tad Hamilton' is that it doesn't turn Tad into a boorish, self-centered jerk, which would have been so easy to do. As played by Josh Duhamel, Tad is, instead, a decent, well-meaning, good-natured young man who basically just wants the same thing out of life that we all do, namely love and commitment from that one special person. Even though we know how this triangle will most likely be resolved, the film still generates a certain amount of emotional tension because we actually come to like all three of the characters who make it up. We know Rosalee can't end up with both men, but each, in his own way, appears to be a viable alternative. This spirit of equanimity is not always the case with these types of stories.
Bosworth exudes such a healthy, radiant glow that we don't question for a second why both Tad and Pete are drawn to her. Duhamel pours on the celebrity charm without becoming smarmy and unctuous in the process. And Topher Grace nicely underplays the role of Rosalee's erstwhile secret devotee who faces a rival no Ordinary Joe should ever have to go up against.
`Win a Date with Tad Hamilton' isn't as good as it might have been had it opted for a riskier, edgier tone. But it's not bad as romantic comedies go and in these days of `Along Came Polly,' `Alex and Emma,' `Chasing Liberty' et al., that's saying quite a bit indeed.
I admit it. I saw this movie simply because I wanted to see something light
and fluffy. I got what I wanted.
Yes, it's a chick flick. Yes, it's predictable. Yes, it has the typical Hollywood ending. But the film never said it was going to be anything but that, and that's why I liked it. No political agendas. No heavy drama and/or gut-wrenching scenes. In fact, there really wasn't anything in this film that was really negative. It was just a cute, fluffy little film that was intended to make you fill light-hearted when it was over. And for me, that is exactly what it did.
A grocery store checkout girl (Kate Bosworth) wins a contest to win a
date with hot young "bad boy" actor, Tad Hamilton, played by Josh
Duhamel. When he ends up falling in love, her life is turned upside
down when he comes to her small hometown, and gets into a competition
with her best friend (Topher Grace), who is also in love with her.
Generic story aside, the film is actually pretty decent. It isn't great or original but fans of the genre should enjoy it. The film works better than it should thanks to its young and charming cast. They all play likable characters and you will be rooting for them. Kate Bosworth is very charming and beautiful as Rosalee. Her character is very sweet and its hard to hate her though she may be a little too pretty for the role. Josh Duhamel plays Tad and he gives a decent performance. Topher Grace is very funny and entertaining as Pete. His sarcastic sense of humor starts getting old near the end of the film though. The supporting actors are also pretty good. Nathan Lane and Sean Hayes play Tad's agents and they both give funny performances.
Besides for the impressive cast, there isn't much more to recommend. The story is pretty stale and predictable. You can predict what will happen just by watching the trailer. The music is very annoying and corny. The dialog is very cheesy and lame. The film is also kind of dull because you know where things are going and they add a bunch of pointless scenes. Robert Luketic brought us the very enjoyable Legally Blonde but he doesn't quite score a win with this film. His direction is uneven and a bit clumsy. I'm being a little too harsh on this film. It really is a harmless romantic comedy that teenage girls should enjoy. It's also better than Chasing Liberty and the Prince and Me. In the end, fans of the genre should check this film out, everyone else should skip it. Rating 5/10
So, if you're looking for a movie similar to the Pianist or Road to Perdition this is not the movie to see; but, if what you seek is a fun and upbeat romantic comedy that can serve as an hour and a half long distraction from reality then you have come to the right place. Win a Date with Tad Hamilton is amusing and funny and the young stars are successfully endearing. Audience members will not walk out of the theater after viewing this movie intellectually enlightened but that is not the movies intention. After viewing this movie you will leave the theater feeling happy and optimistic (which is a feat in today's society). Topher Grace and Kate Bosworth are adorable as typical Midwesterners (even if, as a Midwesterner myself I can attest to the fact that they are still a little too Hollywood to fully pass as West Virginian Piggly Wiggly workers). Basically, go to see Win a Date with Tad Hamilton if you want to you want a small morsel to make you temporarily blissful and please, please do not hold it to standards that it is not trying to meet. This movie should be accepted for what it is, not an Oscar contender but instead a little guilty pleasure that will eventually sit on my DVD shelf and serve as to cheer me up and make me laugh. Give it a chance, you might like it too!
This movie had much more going for it than I had anticipated. Nathan Lane and Sean Hayes as the agent and manager Richard Levy (both of them had the same name!) were hilarious, as was the hotel clerk - a small part played by Sam Pancake who I at first mistook for Martin Short. Topher Grace had tons of great one-liners, and Ginnifer Goodwin and Kathryn Hahn also really good in supporting roles. I liked Josh Duhamel too, and was interested to find that he really wasn't the stereotypical movie star trying to manipulate Kate Bosworth. His character was really sincere, giving you no one to really dislike and making the plot much more interesting. Overall, I was laughing out loud through a good deal of this movie when I had expected it to be a little lame - a really nice surprise!
I enjoyed "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton". It's a brainless, cutesy little romantic comedy -- but that's okay since it doesn't try to be anything deep or uber meaningful. Topher Grace does a good job playing the sort of nerdy-uber romantic-always crushing on cheerleaders but never having one as a girlfriend guy. It seems to be a really natural performance, possible too natural? ;) Just kidding. But honestly, he does as good of a job as any guy can do in a movie that is totally geared towards the female population. Needless to say, the moral of this story is pretty obvious and it's one we've seen at least a gazillion times before. But I liked it and it's perfect if you're looking for something that requires no brain power at all.
I felt like this movie could have been a lot better if there had been some real chemistry between both Tad (Josh Duhamel) and Rosalee (Kate Bosworth) and Pete (Topher Grace) and Rosalee would have had just a little bit of chemistry. Rosalee was so ditzy and had no personality or substance in the film, although both of the men chasing after her claimed that she did. I didn't root for either couple to stay with her, because I couldn't believe that either character would have been interested in her. Her first scenes when she met Tad were extremely cheesy, and her annoying accent when conversing with Pete was too much to handle. Too bad since Topher Grace is fabulous in any role and the hotness of Josh Duhamel cancels out any flaws in his acting.
A naive, young woman, Rosalee (Kate Bosworth), from hicks-ville, wins a
date with a self-absorbed Hollywood hunk straight out of central
casting. The smarmy guy is all smiles and no depth. But then, none of
the characters in this film have much depth.
The plot contains lots of predictably awkward moments, as Rosalee's down-home lifestyle clashes with the hunk's Hollywood lifestyle. Stereotypes abound. And given that the down-home setting is West Virginia, the story is fairly insulting.
The script implies that Americans who do not live on the West Coast or the East Coast are simple-minded, unsophisticated dolts that idolize Hollywood sophistication. Wow! The corporate suit that approved money for this film is dreadfully out of touch, and needs to get out of Tinseltown, fast.
Nothing in the script is credible, not the characters, not the plot, not the dialogue. And the ending you can see coming a mile away. Cinematography consists of bright, garish colors. And the soundtrack is irritatingly hip.
With the exception of Topher Grace (miscast as Rosalee's supermarket boss), the actors overact their roles, in an apparent effort to force humor into the film. Actually, the DVD outtakes are funnier than anything in the film. Nathan Lane is marginally tolerable as a Hollywood bigwig. But Sean Hayes, in an unnecessary role, is super annoying, with that permanent smirk that seems pasted to his face.
Evidently aimed at an audience of junior high school girls, this bubble gum flick is annoying in its insulting stereotypes, its predictability, and in its puerile, prepubescent tone.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie was ironically defined throughout by its memorable quotes.
One of the first stomach turners was spoken while gazing dreamily at
Tad ..."Do you think he is that wonderful in real life?" I waited
desperately for a punchline but it never came, and it became
increasingly clear that the filmmaker actually expected someone to
identify with this celebrity obsession as a way of life.
I wish I could say "Win" improved, and there was a glimmer of hope right in the middle when the father of Kate Bosworth's character, played by Gary Cole (Office Space) states, "Sometimes, Goliath just kicks the s*** out of David." He implied that life, unlike the movies, can't have the perfect, canned, HAS-to-work-out because they-LOVE-each other ending. However, the line must have been a misprint, because the ending was a carefully executed piece of Hollywood fluff.
Especially disappointing was Topher Grace -who's sarcastic underdog persona is likable on "That 70's Show"- just appears whiny, and I found it impossible to believe his attraction to the narcissistic Kate, should have been anything more than a boyhood crush. Watch this if you like predictable dialogue or just enjoy emotional beatings.
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