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The Wedding Date & Why I Am Not A Critic

Cover of "The Wedding Date (Widescreen Ed...
Who Doesn't Love Grace Adler...I mean Kat Ellis? Cover of The Wedding Date (Widescreen Edition)

I’ve recently moved and have no cable or internet. Luckily, I own a LOT of movies. Unluckily, more than half of them currently reside in another state. Once the mad rush of moving was over, and I had two days off of work ahead of me, I decided to pop in a video and get comfortable. I decided on Wedding Date with Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney (and Amy Adams–sans red hair!). Then the critic’s bureau came and took my membership card.

I love this movie. I know some of it makes no sense ( What’s with the whole “Americans in England” thing anyway?), but I think the story has heart. They did such a good job of establishing certain characters that I could believe they would behave the way they did. The character that fell flat to me was Kat’s (Debra Messing) ex-fiancĂ©e. He was unbelievable (but then, so are some real life, jerky guys).

From her first scene, Kat Ellis is stylish (in a slightly British way that I liked, down to her Tiffany colored suitcases), neurotic, nervy, gauche–put together on the outside, but so insecure and shy on the inside. She hired an escort for a wedding.

Nick Mercer was firmly established before he even came on camera, over a voice message. He sounded just as he appeared: self-assured, suave, and slightly bored. Dermot Mulroney mastered the small nuances of facial expression that evolved this character.

Amy, Kat’s little sister…how more believable could the ending have been for her character? She was always bratty, taking what belonged to other people, concerned only with herself. Her character annoyed–just as she was meant to.

I like certain kinds of romantic comedies and chick flicks. One thing you have to have in order for me to enjoy them are awkward moments, one liners, and happy endings (Bridget Jones’ Diary, Anyone?). Wedding Date had all three. My favorite awkward moments were Kat’s Mom’s toast (gah!) and Kat pouring water on herself trying to look sexy. My favorite one liners were “I think I’d miss you even if we never met” (swoon!) and “I’d rather fight with you than make love with any else” (*big sigh*); who wouldn’t love a man to say that to them?

I can’t be a critic. The fact that this has been done a million times doesn’t affect me. Mentions of Julia Roberts’ awkward roles doesn’t sway my admiration of Messing’s awkward redhead moments. The fact that it follows conventions rather than reinvents them didn’t bother me. Having to check my skepticism and reality radar at the door didn’t make me think twice. In its context it was realistic. Their awkward chemistry worked for me. I liked it.

Meanwhile, the Tim Burton movie Sweeney Todd, loaded with Oscar Nominees and based on a Broadway play fell flat to me. I wanted to punch my TV and actually never finished it. It wasn’t because it was a musical (I LOVED Chicago and other Broadway to the theater gems); it was because it was a bad musical, in my vaulted opinion.

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