Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Wedding Date

Now I don't usually do this, but this movie deserves a review.

I LOVE romantic comedies. Which is a pretty good reason all by itself why I'm so incredibly disappointed by so many of them.

Hollywood seems to think a romcom will be successful if you follow the formula: Girl meets guy, girl screws up, girl does everything humanly possible to maintain all the lies she tells to stay in guy's visual hemisphere and then confesses all right when she has him where she wants him, thus showing her inner wonderfulness (and thus she's forgiveable). This is all done to the wacky charm of her not so normal family and off-beat friends. They end up together and you know they are going to have beautiful children and be really happy together, the end. Sometimes, this formula is so beaten into shape that you know the jokes, punchlines and wacky family schtick before the end of the beginning credits.

I HATE being patronized, which is why I--particularly as a romcom writer--can't stand so many romantic comedies or, and this drives my family absolutely nuts, can point out the glaring holes in a movie's plot. Loved HITCH, but I also concluded the evening by claiming that the heroine's ridiculously thin excuse for an Internal Conflict was a cop out. ("Oh, my sister fell in some thin ice when we were practically zygotes. As a result of this incredibly tiny scene, the hero will see that all of my commitment phobias stem from the fact that I didn't reach my lazy ass hand in and get her, which makes me a risk to his emotional well-being." Good lord, I've seen stronger conflict on a crossword puzzle.)

So, you should really pay attention when I say that if you love this genre, you NEED to see this film.

Why? Let's put it this way, in the first twenty minutes, the heroine turns to the hero and goes, "You know how some people have family members who are crazy but you love them anyway?...My family's not like that." And just like that, you have a sigh of relief.

This is not laugh a minute, see who's falling down in the backround material. This is honest comedy. Bitter fruit served on priceless silver. From the outrageous but wonderful cousin TJ, who has some of the best jokes (Seeing the Hero and jaw-droppingly saying, "Oh my God, I think I've just come.") to Dermot Mulroney, who seems to have shed his nice guy image to become rock hard, butt nekid and damn near makes you come too. He had abs in this movie I'm pretty sure God never intended. He's distant, dry and truly, if he'd had more roles like this ten years ago, everyone would be saying, "Brad WHO?" (That scar on his lip gets sexier with each twenty minutes, I'm not kidding. WHERE did he get it??)

Better yet, this one has a plot you can believe. Debra Messing plays Kat, an American girl who is returning to her adopted English home for her sister's wedding. The sister she doesn't get along with. Where, much to her horror, the best man is none other than the former boy next door, her ex-fiancé, who dumped her unceremoniously two years ago. And everyone knows it. She hires an escort to make him regret ever being such an idiot. Enter Mulroney. He's--at best--amused by her desperation and uppity moral position, as she's fairly horrified that she's paying a man 6000 dollars to pretend to be her lover for a weekend. She has it mostly planned out and yes, to a degree she looks down on him. But he's patient, he's decent (and indecent, thank you Mr. Mulroney!), and he's honest, something she's never experienced before.

The movie is full of the unexpected, the poignant, the painfully real and the sweetly romantic. Good music choices and choice moments for the humor should make it a must rent for all romance enthusiasts. If this is where romance is headed in Hollywood, I'm FINALLY so glad to be a romcom fan!

Psst!--If you click on the image, you can play the wedding game on the site!


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