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Kate Bosworth as Rosalee Futch
Josh Duhamel as Tad Hamilton
Topher Grace as Pete Monash
Gary Cole as Henry Futch
Ginnifer Goodwin as Cathy Feely
Sean Hayes as Richard Levy
Nathan Lane as Richard Levy
Hollywood turns out a steady stream of small budget romantic comedies that do not attempt to be anything more than a happy 90 minute distraction from reality. "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!" is what you get when it all works properly.
Rosalee (Kate Bosworth), Pete (Topher Grace), and Cathy (Ginnifer Goodwin) are best friends and coworkers at a Piggly Wiggly in Fraziers Bottom, West Virginia. They hang out at the local bar and go to movies together where we learn that Rosalee and Cathy have a crush on movie idol Tad Hamilton (Josh Duhamel). Through a publicity stunt organized by Tad's agents (Sean Hayes and Nathan Lane), Rosalee wins a dream date in Hollywood with him. This results in a romantic triangle between Tad, Rosalee and Pete.
All of the performances hit their marks. Sean Hayes is a bit over the top, but still well within reason for an agent. Ginnefer Goodwin's character gets a bit lost at the end, but her acting adds a spark to the movie every time she is on screen. The music is not overpowering and fits very well - complimenting the movie, instead of hijacking it, as happens with many movies targeted mostly at a younger audience.
The writing by Victor Levin is very good for the genre, maybe not as good as the best of John Hughes but certainly better than most. The dialog is funny, not overly sappy, and believable (with maybe one lapse during an airport scene). It is easy to care about the characters and feel for the situation they each are in.
Who should see this movie? Anyone looking for a good first date movie. It is pretty safe, the situations are funny but not gross. There is a bit of romance but nothing graphic. There is little action but the movie does not feel slow. It will not challenge anyone intellectually, but it was not intended to. If all you are looking for is a quick escape into a world that will leave you smiling when you leave this is the right movie for you.