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Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Jan
Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!

from Film Forum, 01/22/04

Michael Elliott (Movie Parables) is the first religious press critic to post a review of the new romantic comedy from Robert Luketic, the director of Legally Blonde. Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! features Blue Crush star Kate Bosworth and Topher Grace, the star of That 70s Show.

Elliott praises the cast and writes that love is "the heart of the film" and that it is "totally enjoyable." He is also pleased with the film's simple message: "Committing to another individual is a momentous step. We should make sure that our decision is based upon more than a superficial appreciation of how a person looks or appears."

Film Forum will feature more Christian press reviews of the movie next week.

from Film Forum, 01/29/04

In Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!, a grocery clerk from a small town gets a chance to go out with a Hollywood heartthrob named Tad Hamilton, disgruntling her boss, and giving viewers a lot of laughs.

Last week, Film Forum posted an early review. This week, reviews came pouring in, some of them surprisingly positive. Mainstream critics are split over the film, some calling it fresh and funny, others finding too much whipped cream and not enough cake. But religious press critics seem pleased to have found a romantic comedy that appeals to the younger crowd without indulging baser appetites.

Michael Elliott (Movie Parables) says, "At the heart of the film is love. More specifically, why we love the people we do."

Steven Isaac (Plugged In) says, "It's light. It's fluffy. It's glossy. It's sweet. And it even manages to hang on to more than its fair share of morality. Win a Date With Tad Hamilton! is sure be the year's oohiest and gooiest date-night movie, and it's guaranteed to leave scores of young couples gazing adorningly into each other's misty eyes long after the lights come up. There are things about Tad Hamilton that take away from its wholesome appeal … but it possesses something few modern screen romances have: a soft center and a healthy heart."

While cautioning viewers about "some light sexual innuendoes and light foul language," Movieguide's critic describes it as "a breezy, relatively innocuous romantic comedy. The leads are appealing, and the story is entertaining, though lightweight. Topher Grace as Pete is particularly funny."

But David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) says the movie, "with its derivative script and generically good-looking cast, feels … manufactured. While the film offers some good-natured insider ribbing of celebrity worship and the superficiality which fame engenders, it also tends toward a stereotypical treatment of small-town life. Many of the residents of Frazier's Bottom are portrayed as star-struck rubes who spout exclamations like 'shake-a-do' and who serve more as punch lines than as characters. In the end, this sweet but inconsequential confection is only a tad entertaining."

Brady Williams (Christian Spotlight) calls it "entertaining, but average … a typical romantic comedy, in the vein of Sweet Home Alabama. I would not recommend this movie to teenaged young ladies."

David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) calls it "a breezy but slight teen romantic comedy. Luketic once again pins his hopes of box-office success squarely on the ditzy dimples of a bubbly towhead."

Annabelle Robertson (Crosswalk) defends the film from its detractors. First, she praises the script and the acting. She writes that it "has the feel of a movie from yesteryear, and if Rosalie had suddenly transformed into Doris Day, I wouldn't have been at all surprised. … [Young girls] will see that kindness is rewarded and virginity is a virtue. [This] is the kind of movie everyone says Hollywood should make more of. So, now that Hollywood has, go and see it."