(Since I was lucky enough to review the standard def copy of The Wedding Date, I’m going to be lazy and let you view my thoughts on this, with the audio and video updated to reflect this HD DVD copy).
I would hope that The Wedding Date, signals the end of the genre of films set around weddings. There’s nothing left to mine, the horse is very dead, and in this case, the film is rather predictable. Or to put in another way, my wife said “this film will probably be stupid, but I’ll like it”. And when I was watching parts of the film, the story was so easy to follow that I could go and make a batch of chili, come back, and still know what happened while I was away.
Based on a book(?) by Elizabeth Young and directed by Clare Kilner (How to Deal), Kat (Debra Messing, Will and Grace) has a younger sister (played by Amy Adams, Catch Me If You Can) who is marrying a friend of Kat’s ex-fiancee. As it turns out, Kat wants to put the best face on this as she can, because she was essentially left at the altar. So she decides to hire a male escort named Nick (Dermot Mulroney, About Schmidt, Point of No Return), that will both be there for her and drive her ex jealous.
But a funny thing happens on the way to the wedding (which everyone has to fly to England for), and that is that Kat starts to fall in love with Nick, despite the plane ticket and $6,000 she’s given him. So the rest of the movie is spent with Kat and Nick crossing paths and mixing signals for the next 40 minutes or so. It’s something that we’ve all seen before in films like this. And aside from the TV star’s chance to smoke on-screen or throw in the occasional swear (along with a paid trip to England), this doesn’t have too much going for it in the originality department. The fact that a partially nude Mulroney appears in it, aside from appealing to the soccer mom crowd, is a testimony to how “phoned in” this production is.
All in all, there’s nothing that really is going on in the film that’s worth remembering, and I’d asked the question awhile back that if no one ever saw a film theatrically, did the film occur? The film seems to be a metaphor for me right now, which is that sometimes you’re just in it for the paycheck.
Dolby Digital-Plus 5.1 surround as is the rule from Universal. The songs sound crisp and clear, everything sounds good, if nothing else. But I was left feeling a little bit underwhelmed overall by the soundtrack.
The standard def version of this disc looked actually pretty good before, so I was vaguely interested to see what it would look like in HD. Not only wasn’t it improved, I think the picture quality might have taken a step back. The blacks were pretty weak, the image possessed little or no detail, and was frequently a bit soft and lacking sharpness. Yech.
The good news is that Debra Messing provides a commentary on the film, but the bad news is that she does this by herself, without any accompaniment. It would have probably been more ideal to have her do this commentary with Mulroney, or even Kilner, but you take what you can get I guess. She reads a little bit more into the story than is probably there, and there are a lot of gaps in the track while she watches this, but she does an admirable job. Following this track are several deleted scenes that total about 10 minutes in length. They are in anamorphic, but there’s not much worth seeing here. “A Date with Debra” follows the star’s memories on the production for 8 glorious minutes.
I can’t say I was knocked out when I saw The Wedding Date the first time, and when I saw it again, I was even less impressed. To be fair I paid less attention to the movie than I did for the technical merits of the disc, but both were so flat that it really got unpalatable to me after awhile. It wasn’t that good a film before and isn’t any better now.