A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie includes some strong language, drinking and smoking (scenes in a bar, character drinks to drown his sorrows), drug humor, brief barf and toilet humor, and sexual references and situations. But the movie has a positive message about sexual values, as Rosalie's decision not to have sex with Tad is an important part of his developing respect for her and wanting to get to know her better.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
WIN A DATE WITH TAD HAMILTON stars Kate Bosworth as Rosalee Futch, a sunny check-out girl at a grocery store in a small West Virginia town. Her best friends are Cathy (Gennifer Goodwin) and Pete (Topher Grace). Rosalee wins an online charity contest for a date with movie superstar Tad Hamilton (Josh Duhamel). She is whisked away to Hollywood for a glamorous evening with the man of her dreams, or at least the man who plays the man of her dreams. Tad is better at playing an all-American boy next door than being one. As his agent says of one tabloid photo: "Congratulations! You're actually drinking, driving, smoking, leering, and groping at the same time!" They set up the charity contest in order to create a more wholesome image for Tad. Tad is charmed by Rosalee's unpretentious goodness, and he follows her back to West Virginia, interfering with Pete's plans to declare his feelings for Rosalee.
Is it any good?
This movie is a delightful fairy tale, with Rosalee the kind of girl who's so innocent that she not only wears her retainer on her big date, she takes it out at the table when it is time to eat. And Bosworth and Grace almost make us believe that they are simply just too adorable to figure out that they should probably be dating. Pete has a tiny bit of ironic self-awareness that keeps things from getting too sugary. And Duhamel is simply terrific. He has all of the confidence, charisma, and screen power to make us believe that Tad is a movie star. But he also manages to show us Tad's uncertainty, insecurity, and dim sense that Rosalee does have something worth wanting. The tough part is making that work in a romantic comedy without making it too broad or too deep. We want to care about Tad, but not too much. Duhamel gets it exactly right.
Costars Nathan Lane, Sean Hayes, and Gary Cole lend additional snap to the story. Kathryn Hahn contributes a lovely performance as a bartender who is smitten with Pete. It may be romantic fluff, but it is brightly done and all-but-irresistibly cute.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the ways we think about celebrities. Why was it so easy for Rosalie and Cathy to think that they knew what Tad was like? What is Tad really like? Did some of Rosalie's goodness "rub off" on him? What will be different for him? Why was it so hard for Pete to tell Rosalie how he felt?
- In theaters: January 23, 2004
- On DVD or streaming: April 20, 2004
- Cast: Josh Duhamel, Kate Bosworth, Topher Grace
- Director: Robert Luketic
- Studio: DreamWorks
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 91 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sexual content, some drug references and language
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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