The Wedding Date


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Define the word "ditsy."

A silly girl who falls over the furniture? An accident-prone airhead, with naive charm? A high-spirited fleabrain who is too obvious to be a threat?

Debra Messing, late of Will & Grace, doesn't slip easily into the role. She's forcing it, in the way Meg Ryan used to before she discovered the real world, and everything she does, her entire body language, speaks volumes for The Look At Me School of Social Graces. She might as well carry a placard that reads: I AM FUNNY. BELIEVE ME. Take a tip. Don't.

The plot emulates aspects of Four Weddings And A Funeral and tries to recreate the atmosphere of controlled mayhem that lies skin deep beneath the surface of upper-class English society. Only Sarah Parish, as the randy, loud-mouthed party girl TJ, carries the full weight of embarrassment that is, and forever shall be, posh twits at play. The others are ineffectual, arrogant or pleased with themselves. Nothing new, then?

Although advertised as "the British comedy that charmed America", there is no denying that this is a vehicle for Messing. She plays Kat, who hires a professional male escort (an especially wooden Dermot Mulroney), to fly to London and pretend to be her beau, in order to annoy her ex-fiance, who is best man at her sister's wedding. The concept is fruitcake flimsy, decorated with sweet nothings ("I think I'd miss you even if we never met") and garlanded with small talk that would make Bridget Jones cringe.

Kat is a self-conscious mess. She doesn't know what she wants, who she fancies, why it's all falling apart. Family weddings are fraught with par boiled tensions that burst into flame at the touch of a misconceived remark. Rather than a celebration of love and happiness, they tend to raise the spectre of past infidelities as if the ghosts of betrayal haunt the hopes of lonely girls' dreams.

Sex rears its lascivious head, which adds spice to an otherwise bland concoction of gentle social satire. The prospective bridegroom (Jack Davenport) is a silly ass, the best man (Jeremy Sheffield) is a cad and the escort is a bore - so much for the men. The girls, on the other hand, are... ditsy. The combined depth of their personalities would fill a caviar spoon.

"I would rather fight with you than make love with anyone else," lies the Yoda of escorts. Kat believes him.

Define the word "ditsy."

A fool?

Reviewed on: 22 Apr 2005
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A girl hires an escort to pose as her boyfriend at her sister's wedding in an attempt to irritate her ex.
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Director: Clare Kilner

Writer: Dana Fox, based on the novel by Elizabeth Young

Starring: Debra Messing, Dermot Mulroney, Amy Adams, Jack Davenport, Sarah Parish, Jeremy Sheffield, Peter Egan, Holland Taylor, Jolyon James

Year: 2005

Runtime: 90 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US


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