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Even though they generally are far from the greatest of cinematic achievements, I am generally a sucker for modern romantic comedies.  As long as the film proves to be pleasantly diverting for ninety minutes, and can generate laughs on a regular basis, I feel that I’ve gotten my money’s worth.  Of course, this brings us to THE WEDDING DATE ($30), an amusing little trifle that benefits from the comic presence of actress Debra Messing. In THE WEDDING DATE, Messing is Kat Ellis, an unattached woman traveling to England to attend the wedding of her younger sister.  Unfortunately for Kat, her ex-fiancée is the best man at the wedding, so she doesn’t want to show up at the affair without her own Prince Charming in tow, thus Kat employs handsome male escort Nick Mercer (Dermot Mulroney) to play the role of her boyfriend.  Of course, Kat’s primary purpose for hiring Nick is to make her ex insanely jealous and all the women green with envy, but in typical romantic comedy fashion, the "unexpected" happens, with Kat and Nick developing a genuine spark for one another.  The cast of THE WEDDING DATE also includes Amy Adams, Jack Davenport, Sarah Parish, Jeremy Sheffield, Peter Egan, Holland Taylor and Jolyon James.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has made THE WEDDING DATE available on DVD in a 1.85:1 widescreen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays.  While the video quality will not blow anyone away, THE WEDDING DATE looks very, very nice on DVD.  The image is nicely sharp and rather well defined.  Colors are rendered at a fairly natural level of saturation and the flesh tone realistic in appearance.  Blacks are deep, whites are stable and the levels of contrast and shadow detail are just fine for this type of enterprise.  The film elements appear clean and there isn’t much appreciable grain during the proceedings.  Digital compression artifacts are generally well contained.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack offers a fairly standard comedy mix.  There is nothing flashy about the sound quality, just good fidelity, nice use of the outlying channels to create a sense of ambience and occasional directional effect.  Music always has a fine sense of presence, without ever coming across as compressed or edgy.  Voices are cleanly reproduced and the dialogue maintains complete intelligibility.  A Spanish 5.1 channel track has also been encoded on the DVD, as have English and Spanish subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few extras.  Actress Debra Messing provides a sometimes sparse, but generally interesting running audio commentary, which also offers some amusement.  A Date With Debra is a seven-minute program that features an interview with the film’s star.  Some Deleted Scenes, as well as previews for other Universal releases close out the extra content.

Not surprisingly, THE WEDDING DATE is a good date flick that greatly benefits from the comic charm of actress Debra Messing.  Universal’s DVD offers a solid presentation and a few enjoyable extras.  If you are fond of romantic comedies, you’ll want to spend a little time with THE WEDDING DATE.



The Wedding Date (Widescreen Edition) (2005)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2005 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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