Rosalee Futch is a grocery clerk living in rural West Virginia. But even a small-town girl can have big dreams, and Rosalee's is to someday--somehow--meet her big-screen idol Tad Hamilton. The "somehow" arrives in the form of a contest--the grand prize: a date with Tad Hamilton--and the "someday" is now. Rosalee wins, much to the chagrin of her best friend and co-worker Pete, who is deeply, hopelessly--and secretly--in love with Rosalee. The "Win a Date" contest was cooked up by Tad's agent, Richard Levy, and his manager, also named Richard Levy, to clean up Tad's bad-boy image. Someone should have told them to be careful what you wish for. When Tad meets Rosalee and gets a taste of what he's been missing in the "real world," he decides he wants seconds and moves to West Virginia, turning Rosalee's dream come true into a nightmare for Richard Levy, Richard Levy and, most of all, Pete.
Right now, there's no more likely candidate to assume the crown of the people's princess, Hollywood style, than 21-year-old Kate Bosworth, who has, as they say, the glow. And "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!," a sweet little nothing of a romantic comedy that has all the edge of an overstuffed cream puff, is just the sort of innocuous vehicle that can carry an aspiring princess another step closer to royal status. Ms. Bosworth's character is a star-struck supermarket checker in a West Virginia hamlet who wins a date with her Hollywood heartthrob (Josh Duhamel). He, in turn, is captivated by her wholesome innocence and goodness and thinks she can reform him from his bad-boy ways. The movie pits the Hollywood smoothie against a nice hometown boy (Topher Grace) in a struggle for her affection. Think of it as a kind of "Sweet Home Alabama" revisited in which the heroine finds herself in a win-win situation. — Stephen Holden
2004-01-23 | Stephen Holden | Read the New York Times Review of Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!