Debra Messing’s ‘Date’ a reverse ‘Pretty Woman’ for the new millennium

Erika Kreider

“I’m gonna kiss you now.” “Not if I kiss you first…” Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney get dangerously close in the Gold Circle Films release The Wedding Date.

Credit: Beth Rankin

u think of women throwing bouquets, carnations for guests, and $600 gifts?

Probably a wedding, but in the case of Tuesday night, it was a press screening of The Wedding Date at Loews Richmond Theatre in Cleveland. The predominantly female audience, including yours truly, was wooed into wedding-mode by playing a silly “who has the lucky matching ticket” game.

I wanted to see the movie I came for, but then I realized this game was exciting. This childish personal vice of mine got my blood rushing, because what if I was picked to throw the bouquet, the next step in the game?

At this point I forgot about the movie, because I wanted to be picked. I wanted everyone to look at me while I threw the bouquet farthest to win a $600 photo package.

Unfortunately my ticket was not the lucky one. It was movie time, though, what I came for.

The silly game was a bizarre way to get the audience in the mood to go through another girl’s journey of wanting something so bad, only to resort to second best. This is basically the outline of The Wedding Date’s plot, so when it comes right down to it, the game was not too shabby of a promotional stunt.

This cute, feel-good movie’s plot is an updated Pretty Woman, but with the woman in charge this time.

Kat (Debra Messing) is a hot, single New Yorker, yet she desperately calls an escort service for a guaranteed date to her sister’s wedding. Revenge is the main motive because her ex-fianc‚ is going to be there, and showing up single would be a huge slap in the face. Messing does not come across as creepy, but rather understandable in her “I need a date to the wedding” anxiety.

The rest of the plot is pretty predictable though. There are some turns and twists of a love triangle that may slightly throw you off, but can be guessed after seeing the trailer. The plot almost seems like a movie everyone has seen a few times, but still causes the occasional smirk.

As a bonus there is eye candy for the ladies, or men, to snack on. When Dermot Mulroney appeared as Messing’s escort, ladies around me actually catcalled to the screen. This viewable sugar is also complete with a pleasant PG-13 love scene.

Everyone can relate to the constantly drunk wedding weekend relatives, which lends the plot a cute touch. Messing does a respectable job at keeping you entertained, though her co-stars struggle a bit through the acting. All in all, the acting is enough to keep you entertained for the occasional giggle—or catcall, whichever is your forte.

There is no lasting emotional effect after the movie. It is not very relatable to everyday suburban, college life. It still has cute parts, such as Mulroney’s character, Nick, meeting Kat’s parents, her family and the ex-fianc‚.

This movie comes across exactly how it is supposed to—a romantic comedy, not one that makes you think too much, just one that makes you smile a little and giggle some.

As I left the theater, I noticed everyone else had a parting gift of a carnation, but I was empty handed. Somehow I walked passed this cheap and ugly, yet still sweet, parting gift.

Oh well, it was still a cute movie.

Contact pop arts reporter Erika Kreider at [email protected].