Win a Date With Tad Hamilton Review

by Susan Granger (ssg722 AT aol DOT com)
January 29th, 2004

Susan Granger's review of "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton" (DreamWorks) Will a star-struck, small-town girl from America's heartland choose the local guy with a heart of gold or the Hollywood hunk? That's the dilemma of this good-natured teen date movie.
    Perky, bubbly Rosalee Futch (Kate Bosworth) is a clerk at the Piggly Wiggly market in Fraziers Bottom, West Virginia. Like her best friend (Ginnifer Goodwin) and thousands of teens, she's wild about a chiseled movie star named Tad Hamilton (Josh Duhamel). Unlike all the others, however, Rosalee wins an on-line contest to spend a glamorous evening in California with the man of her dreams. Predictably, Tad-the-cad is hardly thrilled with this publicity stunt but, after reluctantly meeting Rosalee, he's intrigued by her giggly, genuine charm and innocence. "Doesn't it hurt, smiling like that all the time?" she quizzes him. So he sets off to continue the courtship in Rosalee's hometown, much to the chagrin of Pete Monash (Topher Grace), the shy, insecure supermarket manager who has loved for Rosalee for many years.
    Director Robert Luketic ("Legally Blonde") elevates Victor Levin's quaint, sit-com-like script with clever casting. Kate Bosworth ("Blue Crush," "Wonderland") and Josh Duhamel (TV's "Las Vegas") convincingly embody their characters, while Topher Grace (TV's "That '70s Show") emerges as an engaging, charismatic leading man with a canny sense of comic timing. Nathan Lane and Sean Hayes, as Tad's agent and manager, respectively, are amusing, as is Gary Cole as Rosalee's film-obsessed dad. And Gennifer Goodwin delivers on the promise she showed in "Mona Lisa Smile." On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton" is sweet 6. Gently poking fun at the cult of celebrity, it's aimed at an adolescent audience.

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