Win a Date With Tad Hamilton! at the IMDb
There aren’t enough films with exclamation marks in their titles - off hand I can only thing of ‘Sink the Bismarck!’ and the crappy Michael Winner comedy ‘Bullseye!’. Any more out there?
The exclamation mark here is a bit misleading as there is no real excitement or urgency in this forgettable romantic comedy.
The titular Tad is a Hollywood leading man with image problems. His running about with starlets is alienating his audience and his agent., Nathan Lane, decides that a charity date competition is the best way to get him back on track. Meanwhile the staff at a small town grocery store are gushing over how lovely Tad is. The manager, Topher Grace, is keen on one of the check out girls but is too shy to make a move. The object of Topher’s affections, Kate Bosworth, is unaware of her admirer despite everyone else knowing they are a good match.
Kate enters the Tad contest and, of course, she wins. She’s jetted off to LA with Topher telling her to save her ‘carnal gift’. The date goes well and, although there is no foo-foo, Tad is clearly taken with the small town girl. Later back at the store Topher is readying his move when Tad shows up - he’s only smitten and has decided to up sticks and move to the West Virginia backwater and pursue the lovely lass.
What follows is a predictable game as the two men try to woo the lovely Kate with slight dirty tricks employed but there is no nastiness and the outcome is never in doubt.
This is a hard film to really dislike as a group of attractive people have fun in the sun. It’s just not very substantial with the paper thin characters bumbling towards an inevitable climax. There is no threat or danger with Tad being underwritten and ill defined in his motivations. He seems a decent bloke but there are suggestions he’s a bit sneaky - like him stealing Topher’s tiresome ‘six smiles’ routine - but overall you have no idea if he’s good or bad. Josh Duhamel is fine as Tad to begin with, but once he decants to the small town he loses credibility - smiler Kate or all those hookers and drugs? Come on!
We are expected to root for Topher’s wishy washy store manager but he’s such a wimp that you don’t really care. He does have some good scenes with the slutty bar tender played by Kathryn Hahn, who seems a far better choice than the bland and harmless Kate Bosworth whom everyone else is falling over themselves for.
The cast was filled out with the always great but underused Gary Cole and Nathan Lane as the excitable agent.
Overall you’ll do a lot worse but there is not a lot to recommend this predictable slice of fluff.
THE Tag Line : Six Smiles Out of Ten 14/23