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‘The Wedding Date’ lame and it’s all in the name

Dan Thomas

Judging a movie by its title is as dangerous as judging a book by its cover, but the “The Wedding Date” is a big clue.The static title certainly doesn’t suggest the bittersweet humor of “Four Weddings and a Funeral” or the fun multiculturalism of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”Perhaps it’s not a fair guess since I might not be the audience the filmmakers aimed to draw with “The Wedding Date.” But I’ve found that movies with titles of “(Article) Wedding (Noun)” in their various permutations tend to screen poorly in this demographic – namely, me. On the other hand, there are some wedding movies I’ve really enjoyed – and most of them had better names.As much as I’d like to drop it there, the title provides another clue what moviegoers are getting into: That titular wedding date (Dermot Mulroney) better be one interesting guy for this to go anywhere.Thing is, he’s not. Not only was I unable to place Mulroney in any other movie or achieve any degree of certainty that he is not, in fact, Dylan McDermott, I could barely distinguish him from the furniture.Mulroney plays escort Nick Mercer, whom hard-up Kat Ellis hires to accompany her to her sister’s wedding in England. He seems like basically a good guy, but I always imagined hired escorts to be a little more interesting – at least in the neighborhood of Toni Collette’s mildly deranged Muriel “Mariel” Heslop-Van Arckle, who made “Muriel’s Wedding” go.Since it’s called “The Wedding Date,” I’d have to guess it’s about wooden Nick, but because it’s not “The Wedding Date Lights Himself on Fire” (I pray that would be the sequel), we must turn our attention elsewhere. Since she stands out among a bunch of glorified extras who make it evident they’re British only by injecting random Anglicisms into every pause in speech, that honor falls to Debra Messing, who plays Kat.Messing’s worth almost a star for injecting some life into “The Wedding Date.” But good movies about weddings usually depend on some conflict, misunderstanding or clash, at least to distract viewers from the scenery, and there’s very little drama in “The Wedding Date.”In honoring and obeying every romantic comedy convention, “The Wedding Date” leaves very little to love.


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