Win a Date with Tad Hamilton is a winner


Jan. 9, 2004, midnight | By Katherine Zhang | 17 years ago


Win a Date with Tad Hamilton. A small-town girl does just that, only to promptly find herself caught in a love triangle between her all-time favorite actor and her lifelong best friend. While the movie doesn't win any points in the creativity department, it does feature numerous lovable characters, plenty of heartwarming romance and loads of humor-filled scenes, the formula for the perfect romantic comedy.

Rosalee Futch (Kate Bosworth) is a clerk in a grocery store in Frasier's Bottom, West Virginia; Tad Hamilton (Josh Duhamel) is the wild young actor from Malibu, California. She is sweet, naïve and his biggest fan; he just got caught by the paparazzi smoking cigarettes and drinking and driving. As the result of Tad's agent's effort to "generate some positive PR," Rosalee wins a date with the man of her dreams.

Initially unexcited at the idea of going on a date with a small-town girl, Tad soon discovers the "goodness" in Rosalee that influences him to set his priorities straight. He leaves Hollywood and flies across the country to spend time with her in her quaint, peaceful West Virginia hometown. Rosalee wholeheartedly enjoys Tad's company, and Frasier's Bottom loves Tad's presence. There is only one problem: Rosalee's best friend Pete (Topher Grace) is in love with Rosalee, too.

Despite the movie's feature of the somewhat clichéd girl-caught-between-two-equally-lovable-guys situation, the actors in Win a Date with Tad Hamilton carry off the love triangle with an ease and warmth that keeps the movie from being trite.

Bosworth proves to be one of the movie's most valuable assets. She portrays Rosalee as innocent and trusting yet smart and witty, and she carries off the role with a flair that captures the audience's attention right from the start. Rosalee can start speaking gibberish when first meeting Tad, throw up in his limo and run around in her tacky work uniform, yet she remains funny and lovable. Bosworth's performance is skilled and talented, and she creates a main character that the audience simply cannot resist.

The supporting actors in the movie perform wonderfully as well. Any less-talented actor than Grace would present Pete as jealous and resentful, but what Grace illuminates about Pete is his care and concern for Rosalee. His wacky protectiveness adds humor to Pete's character.

Win a Date with Tad Hamilton deserves much praise for its subtle yet convincing romance. It's charming and adorable without being sappy and foolish. Tad's admirations for Rosalee and Pete's protection of her are genuinely expressed and truly sweet. Who can forget Pete's dreamy expression as he lists all six of Rosalee's different smiles?

Besides the lovable characters and the charming romance, the movie also presents an incessant flow of laugh-out-loud humor. There is Tad's expression as Rosalee takes off her retainer during dinner on their first date, Rosalee's other best friend Cathy's (Ginnifer Goodwin) hyperventilation at meeting Tad, and Rosalee's father's (Gary Cole) attempt at being cool in front of Tad: "Have her back by dawn, and no cocaine, huh?" What makes these scenes so hilarious is that they're believable. It's obvious that the humor is not forced, just simple, natural, and downright funny.

Lovable characters, skilled actors and sweet romance: it's all here. Win a Date with Tad Hamilton is enjoyable to watch and a real tour de force. It's the perfect romantic comedy.

Win a Date with Tad Hamilton is 95 min, rated PG-13 for sexual content, some drug references and language. Coming to theatres everywhere Jan. 23.



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Katherine Zhang. Katherine Zhang likes French baguettes, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, bookmarks, fresh boxes of rosin, Brad Meltzer novels, and of course, "JAG." In her free time, Katherine enjoys knitting, playing the violin, and reading - especially legal thrillers and books about people in faraway places and long-ago times. … More »

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