Kat Ellis (Debra Messing) is in a state of desperation. Single and without a date to her sister's upcoming wedding, she knows that she cannot face family criticism of her love life alone. To make matters worse, the best man just happens to be her ex-fiance. Kat decides to take control of the situation by hiring a male escort (Dermot Mulroney) to pose as her boyfriend. What begins as a simple $6,000 business transaction turns out to be a lot more than she bargained for. Kat learns the hard way that when you mix business with pleasure, strings are always attached. Especially the ones belonging to her heart.
Directed by Clare Kilner ("How to Deal"), "The Wedding Date" (IMDb listing) looks at relationships and the idea that everyone is personally responsible for the love life that they have. Open-mindedness and an open heart are the key ingredients for happiness and success in love, according to the film. For Kat, this makes her question what she really wants in comparison to what she has been searching for.
"The Wedding Date" is a romantic comedy that unintentionally follows in the footsteps of "Pretty Woman" with the roles reversed. With Messing fitting the part played by Richard Gere and Mulroney in the role of Julia Roberts, the plot similarities do not do the original film justice.
Although audiences have been eager for a good romantic comedy, this one is unsatisfying, but strategically released in time for Valentine's Day. Both Messing and Mulroney are entertaining to watch, but something is lost in their character development and a fast-moving script is to blame. It is difficult to understand some of their actions because not enough background is provided beforehand. The pair lacks chemistry on screen and they seem to fall in love off-camera. That said, Messing does bring excellent comedic timing to her character and she manages to leave behind her familiar role on "Will & Grace". Mulroney ("My Best Friend's Wedding") is convincing as a male hooker, but his character is very one-dimensional and leaves audiences unsure of where he is coming from with most of his actions.
For those in need of a romantic comedy, "The Wedding Date" is a decent film in a genre without too many options right now. But remember, desperate times do not require desperate measures.
Filmfodder Grade: C-