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Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! (2004)

In every love story, theres only room for one leading man.

Directed by:

Robert Luketic

Rating: 5/10

Running Time: 95 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: PG

On DVD

Country: United States

If there’s one thing everyone loves, it’s celebrities. They’re just like you and me, only much, much better. Little surprise, then, that when small town gal-next-door-type Rosalee (Kate Bosworth) wins the opportunity to go on a date with fictitious Hollywood heart-throb Tad Hamilton (Josh Duhamel), she doesn’t have to think twice. After all, it’s either that or another night’s check-out duty at the local soulless supermarket.

A bit like ‘Notting Hill’ only American and aimed at the tweeny market, what follows is a somewhat unlikely look at what happens when an Average Joe (or, in this case, Average Josephine), gets it on with one of the planet’s apparently biggest stars. Tad, all teeth and pecs, unwittingly falls for the unassuming compo-winner, and proceeds to follow her across-country in the hope that some of her goodness will rub off on him (his words not mine, I hasten to add).

The difference here is that, right from the start, it’s made clear that Tad, for all his fame, wealth and large hair, is not the bloke we’re supposed to want Rosalee to end up with. She has another suitor, you see, in the form of gangly workmate Pete (Topher Grace). He’s had the hubba-hubbas for his girlie chum since childhood, but has never had the guts to tell her – and now it looks like it’s going to be too late.

I can’t really fault any of the performances in ‘Tad Hamilton!’. It’s probably Bosworth’s best performance to date, Grace strolls through his part, and, in basically standing around looking handsome, Duhamel does all that’s asked of him. But it’s the peripheral characters who more often than not make it worth watching. Ginnifer Goodwin, as Rosalee and Pete’s mutual friend Cathy, delivers a sparky performance and will be one to look out for in the future, whilst Nathan Lane and Sean ‘Will & Grace’ Hayes steal all of their scenes as Tad’s agent and manager (Lane also gets one of the best lines with “your values are different: for example, she has them.”).

Unfortunately, it falls down on two fronts. The first is that it’s just not funny enough often enough. The second is that there’s little chemistry between Rosalee and either of her two love interests. The whole thing only works if we REALLY want to see her end up with Pete, but as it happens there’s just not enough wrong with Tad to make us care. It would have helped matters immensely AND opened up a mine of extra comic opportunities if Tad had been shown to be a bit more of a bastard in his moments without Rosalee. There’s a particularly obvious scene where Tad is confronted by Pete in the gents and, instead of showing his “true colours”, is actually incredibly reasonable and understanding. What we’re left with is a situation where two basically nice guys are chasing a similarly nice girl – and who really cares about that?

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It's Got: Men’s room politics.

It Needs: A wicked streak.

DVD Extras Deleted scenes, a gag reel and a picture gallery. DVD Extras Rating: 3/10

Alternatives:

Notting Hill

Summary

A nicey-nicey rom-com with lots of shiny white teeth, but no bite.

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