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The Independent Critic

Topher Grace, Kate Bosworth, Josh DuHamel
Robert Luketic
Victor Levin
Rated PG-13
95 Mins.
 "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton" Review 

This is an incredibly average film to me. That, in itself, is disappointing because there's so much that could have been done with the premise...and the cinematography is bright, cheerful and befitting of the theme. Basically, the cinematography and performance of That 70's Show's Topher Grace are the highlights in an otherwise bland, forced comedy that plays up stereotypes in an unfunny way and generally gets merely average performances from its leads, Kate Bosworth and Josh Duhamel.

My big problem here is with the casting of Bosworth. Her character is meant to be small-town, innocent and struck by Los Angeles and celebrity...I never bought into it with her. From line delivery to facial expression to body language, this girl was screaming out closeted slut even in the most innocent of scenes. I honestly chuckled a couple times over this issue.

Duhamel is slightly more convincing as Tad Hamilton, a celebrity trying to improve his image by hosting the "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton" contest. The transition was so quick, however, that it seemed fairly clearly manipulation and, once again, I never completely let go and bought into it.

Truly, the saving grace here is Topher Grace...Even his look radiates smalltown boy falling in love but unable to say it...He's the only one here who seems to have truly connected with the concept of character development, and he invests himself in this role wonderfully. Mostly, his scenes are quietly sweet...but they elevate this film enough to move it into the average range.

There really are no surprises in this script by Victor Levin, and the direction by Robert Luketic adds nothing new to the scenario. Basically, this is a lightweight, romantic comedy.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic