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‘Win a Date with Tad Hamilton’ is predictable but charming

Girl swoons over boy on the big screen. Girl wins date with boy. Wackiness ensues. Such are the events in the new motion picture “Win a Date with Tad Hamilton.”

Tad Hamilton (Josh Duhamel) is a movie star heartthrob desperately in need of reputation rehab.

Rosalee Futch, played by Kate Bosworth, is a sweet-as-sugar Piggly Wiggly cashier living in Frazier’s Bottom, W.Va. and is desperately in love with said hunk. (Frazier’s Bottom? Might as well have been Nowheresville.) What chick-flick force of nature brings this unlikely couple together you ask? Why, a contest where the grand prize is a date with big-screen idol, Tad Hamilton and of course, Rosalee’s luck.

Tad’s agent, Richard Levy (Nathan Lane), and his manager, ironically also named Richard Levy (Sean Hayes of “Will and Grace”), throw this contest together in a public relations scheme to renew Tad’s tarnished image. It’s a dream come true for Rosalee. She is flown out to Hollywood to meet the man of her dreams and dine in style. No one expected Tad to fall for a “real world” girl, though. He hops a plane and moves to West Virginia so that her “goodness will rub off on him.”

This poses a problem for the cynical and hilarious Levy team and Pete (Topher Grace), Rosie’s co-worker and longtime best friend. Just as Pete has come to terms with his secret love of Rosie and builds up the confidence to tell her, Hamilton rides in on his Porsche with his killer smile.

Pete has to work fast and make a move or he might lose her forever. I won’t ruin the ending for you though.

“(It’s) One of those movies that you secretly sneak into the theaters for,” Laura Potter Soderstrom, senior elementary education/psychology major said. “You know how the story is going to play out, but you shamefully watch it anyhow. You can’t help it.” So true, it just sneaks up on you.

The cast of “Win a Date” really makes the plot believable though. Kate Bosworth could have totally overplayed the part of innocent and sweet small town Rosalee, but she balanced it very nicely.

As Tad, Josh Duhamel does exactly what is required of him. He plays the self-centered yet harmless distraction for Rosalee. We don’t hate him because he is genuinely a good guy. He may not be a perfect guy, but he is a good guy nonetheless. Topher Grace, whom I’m sure we’ve all seen on “That 70’s Show” gives a top shelf performance.

Although Tad is a gorgeous specimen of man with a capital “G” and makes the Andrew Keagan’s and Zack Morris’ of our time look like boys, Topher is the boy next door that we pray won’t finish last.

His refreshing sarcasm, quirky intelligence and adorable glasses give him that nice guy appeal. I wanted to pinch his cheeks and marry him myself. I’m not saying that someone gets married. Topher just makes me want to be a better woman.

Bottom line – Kudos to the director, Robert Luketic, who also directed “Legally Blonde” and wisely passed on its sequel. He hit a home run with this romantic comedy. This is one date you won’t want to break!


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