Soon after the denizens of Pine Valley discovered that Leo’s mother Vanessa (alias Rosie Wells) was the drug lord Proteus, she was shipped to a mental institution from which she subsequently escaped. And after Vanessa kidnapped Greenlee from the Pine Cone at knifepoint and forced her and Leo to go scouring for diamonds at Miller’s Falls, the nutcase and her son dove off the waterfall and disappeared from Pine Valley forever. Or did they? That folks is good melodrama, something Robert Luketic’s Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! sorely lacks. That’s also how the writers at “All My Children” killed off two of the show’s most popular characters back in 2002, leaving the door open for the hunky Josh Duhamel to return just in case his Hollywood career went nowhere. (And that’s how your knowledge of daytime television can help you fill your word count!) Duhamel is Tad Hamilton, a Hollywood playboy who goes on a charity date with small-town girl Rosalee Futch (Kate Bosworth) in order to tame his bad-boy reputation but ends up falling in love with the girl. Or does he? Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! is Puppy Love 101 for the MTV generation (there’s a pop song for every transition in the film!), an inoffensive but painfully routine look at Teen Beat personalities looking for love in all the wrong places. Luketic and screenwriter Victor Levin lazily summon a war between Hollywood chintz and Bumblefuck values using Segways, Piggly Wigglys and other country-mouse-city-mouse signifiers, but the film has very little to say about the way people choose to live their lives. Rosalee and her best friend, player-hating Pete Monash (an excellent Topher Grace), are bound to get together, and though Luketic has an adorable time contriving a Hollywood ending for the couple, you can’t help but look at the film as a limp satire that doesn’t ever know exactly what it’s satirizing (not unlike the equally mundane Legally Blonde, whose pink color scheme disguised the fact that Luketic isn’t a very interesting visualist). The filmmakers, though, know their target audience, and as such the perpetually half-naked Duhamel will make “All My Children” fans nostalgic for that time when Greenlee had to decide between Leo and Ryan.
- Robert Luketic
- Victor Levin
- Kate Bosworth, Topher Grace, Josh Duhamel, Ginnifer Goodwin, Kathryn Hahn, Nathan Lane, Sean Hayes
- Slant is reaching more readers than ever before, but advertising revenue across the Internet is falling fast, hitting independently owned and operated publications like ours the hardest. We’ve watched many of our fellow media sites fall by the way side in recent years, but we’re determined to stick around.
We’ve never asked our readers for financial support before, and we’re committed to keeping our content free and accessible—meaning no paywalls or subscription fees. If you like what we do, however, please consider becoming a Slant patron.
You can also make a one-time donation via PayPal: