The Wedding Date

“Will & Grace” is headed off the air and into blessed obscurity, so Debra Messing is cashing in quick whatever fame she might have in The Wedding Date. Whether she’s in it as a last ditch attempt to jumpstart a career outside of being partnered with Will, or as a way to grab a payday before an early retirement is unknown, but she’s certainly not involved for love of Dana Fox’s script. Unless of course she can’t read and was provided with a pop-up version, that might make it look pretty snazzy.

A popup version would work, since the characters are all empty, cardboard cutouts, lethargically muttering lines from other movies and slathering on layer after layer of romantic cheese. Messing, plays the chief cutout, a single woman so pathetic she must hire a male hooker to play boyfriend at her sister’s wedding. She mustn’t show up single, since finding a man is the only way modern women can be validated as worthwhile human beings. Her man-whore is Nick Mercer, played by Dermot Mulroney as if he’s just taken a particularly inspiring hit off a bong. He waltzes around in dashing attire, dispensing wisdom like a toked up Yoda, a reference which even the film’s characters themselves don’t entirely miss.

The pair meet, spend five minutes or so at the wedding talking (long enough for Nick to get paid), and then separate as each goes off to help handle various wedding duties. Later, Messing returns to their room completely drunk, has sex with her he-bitch (he gives her a freebie cause he’s smitten) and they’re instantly, and irrevocably in love. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised; after all, the man does do it for a living. Amidst all the banging of hot male escorts, there’s also still that pesky wedding going on, along with the stress and embarrassing, insulting, and oh yes, mildly funny drunken posts that must be endured from parents. The people in this movie must endure them, you can save yourself the hassle by simply refusing to buy a ticket.

The Wedding Date is a trite, stiff, boring romantic-comedy stealing from other movies. It’s mundanely uninspired, to the point that it becomes unintentionally laughable. Even the audience packed with swoon-ready females I saw it with, seemed to be laughing at it a lot more than they were laughing with it. I refuse to believe that there’s anyone on the planet, starved enough for romantic affection, that they’d find something likable about this movie. Messing is neither quirky nor cute. The film goes out of its way to make both her and Mulroney look ugly, but with a script like this I wouldn’t expect anything less.