Win A Date With Tad Hamilton!
Published May 01, 2004
While most romantic teen comedies stoop to a level of schmaltz that is downright offensive, outside of a strong ensemble performance, Tad Hamilton is banal enough to avoid provoking almost any kind of strong emotional reaction from its audience. Tad Hamilton (Josh Duhamel) is a Hollywood heartthrob experiencing some image problems — his hard-partying, womanising lifestyle is beginning to overshadow his image as a squeaky clean, romantic leading man. His worried manager, Richard Levy (Nathan Lane), and agent, also named Richard Levy (Will & Grace's Sean Hayes), come up with a "win a date with Tad Hamilton" contest behind the scenes (literally, there is no scene in the film that establishes this plot development) in hopes it will create wholesome photo ops for the star. The contest winner is the beautiful Rosalee Futch (played expertly by Kate Bosworth) who, much to the chagrin of her best friend Pete (amusingly played by Topher Grace), is madly in love with Hamilton. Expecting a painful night, Hamilton ends up smitten with Rosalee after their date and leaves his life behind to chase after her in her slow West Virginia community. This wreaks havoc for Pete, who has been in love with Rosalee his entire life. His eventual confession only confuses Rosalee and sets up the film's romantic conclusion. The film's major quirk is its tendency to move the story along without any real attempt at setting up the action. Like the aforementioned contest, there is no scene indicating that Hamilton is swooning over Rosalee, he just shows up at her work. The unorthodox technique works, but we have little insight as to why the characters are behaving the way they are. The deleted scenes don't really fill in any holes either. Lane and Hayes are known for providing an irritating form of comic relief but here, though used sparingly, they're quite funny. In fact, they can be found in most of the deleted scenes, which often include far more hilarious instances than anything in the film. Playing a sex-starved goldbricker, Paris Hilton also made the cutting-room floor, most likely in light of the notorious sex-tape that surfaced just as this film was originally released. Lane, Hayes, and Grace make the gag-reel worth seeing, but overall, there is little to praise about this DVD. (DreamWorks/Universal)