Sweet small-town shop assistant Rosalee (Bosworth) wins a competition to go on a date with hot movie star Tad Hamilton (Duhamel), much to the chagrin of her boss, Pete (Grace), who secretly loves her. Events take a turn when the spoiled Hamilton also fall
To work convincingly, every love triangle has to have three relatively equal parts, so that we, the audience, may believe that the outcome could legitimately go any way. Remember how surprised you were when Leia chose Han (although, with hindsight, all that icky incest business meant it was the only logical choice)? Well, Win A Date With Tad Hamilton is a valiant attempt to create a similar love triangle, but ends up getting all its sums wrong.
On one side, we have the unwaveringly wholesome Rosalee (Bosworth, in a performance so sunny its little wonder theres a sub-plot devoted to her captivating array of smiles), a charming naïf so cute that everyone who meets her falls in love with her. Which, fundamentally, boils down to her best friend, Pete (Grace), whos loved her from afar for years; and Hamilton (Duhamel), a fast-living, hard-loving Hollywood star who sees Rosalee as his shot at redemption.
Its a neat set-up, but director Luketic quickly fades down the Tinseltown angle in favour of the love triangle. However, thanks to some misjudged performances, that rapidly becomes dangerously lop-sided and irrevocably damages the movie.
Grace, so good in That 70s Show, is here an uncomfortably caustic, charmless version of Chandler from Friends (with an appalling haircut that does him no favours in the heart-throb stakes); instead of demonstrating his love for Rosalee, hes reduced to taking snide pot-shots at his new love rival, Hamilton. And where Hamilton should be Tad The Cad, using Rosalee to improve his own life and career, newcomer Duhamel is instead utterly dashing, handsome, witty and charming sharing real chemistry with Bosworth.
Plotwise, were in standard Some Kind Of Wonderful territory, so anyone familiar with that movie should know where were heading and whom we should be rooting for. But by playing
his male leads daringly against type, Luketic manages to introduce an element of doubt and suspense to a genre that ran dry a long time ago. Unfortunately, the convention-endorsing climax suggests that might not have been intentional.
It starts promisingly, filled with good-natured humour, candyfloss colours and a luminous lead performance from Bosworth. But this is ultimately a lazy, schizophrenic flick that patronises and celebrates small town ways; and satirises Hollywoods hard-on