Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Win a Date with Tad Hamilton

“Sometimes Goliath kicks the shit out of David. It’s just nobody bothers to tell that story.”

Yeah, it’s a simple love story. Boy loves girl. Girl falls for more accomplished boy. A more modern take on the Bye, Bye Birdie story is so delightful that I actually prefer it to the original play and its other film versions. In in the hands of director Robert Luketic and screenwriter Victor Levin such a predictable story is given class and charm up the whazoo. And so what we get is a well told and engaging story about great love that changes your life.

Sweet down home Rosalee Futch (Kate Bosworth) works at the Piggy Wiggly with her “Pete friend” (Topher Grace) and her “Cathy friend” (Ginnifer Goodwin). The three musketeers work together and hang out at the local pub where the bartender (Kathryn Hahn) has made her feelings about Pete a little too clear. Pete however has been harboring feelings for Rosalee for years and thinks he is finally ready to admit his love. In a comedy this is where something usually goes amiss.

And so, when Rosalee enters a contest to win a date with her favorite celebrity - she wins. The contest was created by the star’s two agents (Nathan Lane and Sean Hayes) in order to improve their mealticket’s public image. Tad Hamilton (Josh Duhamel) meets Rosalee and is immeadiately drawn to her “goodness.” He travels down to Fraziers Bottom, and to Pete’s increasing distress, the two begin a relationship.Gary Cole has a nice turn Rosalee’s father who becomes so lost in Hollywood after Tad begins wooing his daughter, he ends up wearing Project Greenlight t-shirts and drinking chocolate margaritas. And Hahn gives the what could be a throwaway character of Angelica some life, wit, and sass. Her character, like all those in the film, play an important role. No meaningless or pointlessness here - I wish more romantic comedies would watch and take notes!

Topher Grace and Kate Bosworth carry the film with a nice banter that allows you to accept these characters as best friends who could easily be much more. The choice to make Tad Hamilton a mostly nice guy also adds a different dimension to the film as a weaker film would have made the rich star a jerk, or shallow, or just trying to get Rosie into bed. Because of this Rosie’s choice is much more interesting and actually adds a little tension, and very humorous distress for Pete, to the story.

It’s smart, it’s sweet, and it’s endearing. What more do you want. It’s so hard to watch the film without a smile on your face. Kate Bosworth is so loveable. Topher Grace is funny and vulnerable in a way that makes it impossible not to root for him. I think this movie gets a bad wrap as a chick flick (while I believe it’s so much more). It’s a good comedy, a fun and sometimes painful romance, and in the end a very enchanting film I’d recommend to anyone.

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