Ingenuity creeps into several scenes of the largely stereotypical chick-flick love comedy "The Wedding Date" -- but all its imagination comes at the wrong end of the creative process. What good is a uniquely photographed dance scene if the characters dancing together are barely two-dimensional?
The plot is pure, predictable sitcom gimmickry: Debra Messing plays a romantically frazzled beauty in her early 30s (not entirely unlike her sitcom role on TVs "Will and Grace") who hires an escort (Dermot Mulroney) to act the part of a besotted boyfriend at her sister's wedding. She hopes to stave off haranguing from her embarrassing, busybody mother (the fabulously uppity Holland Taylor) and stir jealousy in the ex-fiancé who left her at the altar two years before.
Peppered with conventional montage sequences (set to shopworn 1950s girl-group ditties and Shania Twain anthems), and pushed along by overly-staged scenes that defy common sense, the script is clumsy at best. Even though she's anxious about pulling off this stunt, Messing hires Mulroney sight unseen and doesn't concoct a backstory (his occupation, where they met, how long they've been dating) until pulling him into a coat room at the rehearsal dinner in a panic. This despite having a 12-hour cross-Atlantic flight during which they could have been rehearsing their fictional relationship.
Continue reading: The Wedding Date Review