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'WIN A DATE' A TAD MUCH (UNLESS YOU LOVE THE '50S)

Jan. 29, 2004 – Can a movie with a title like "Win a date with Tad Hamilton!" succeed? Well maybe, providing you are about 14, and not intellectually inclined. Or, if you just want something to enjoy your popcorn by.
Anyhow, Hamilton (Josh Duhamel), a hot young actor, on the advice of his agent, agrees to take part in a "win a date" contest to promote his new movie and at the same time improve his image. Seems he has been doing too much of what hot new stars do — beer, women and song.
And, wouldn't you know, Rosalee Futch (Kate Bosworth) a Piggly Wiggly grocery checker in a small West Virginia town, wins the date. Why, Jumpin' Jehosaphat! Rosalee is simply beside herself. But when the breathtaking Hamilton shows up, sparks fly. Humble bagger Pete Monash (Topher Grace), who has worked by Rosalee's side and worshipped her (but never told her), declares his love.
As Hamilton plays his new role as the suitor of a supermarket checker, something wild and unpredictable happens. He begins to fall for the small-town charms of Rosalee. Seems he's never met anyone so genuine.
Rosalee is ecstatic about the trip to L.A. — the date, complete with the stretch limo, the suite at the hotel, the expensive dinner, the works. And when she returns home to Fraser's Bottom (no kidding), Hamilton follows.
However, there may be hope. Don't leave right after you finish your popcorn.
Roger Ebert says: "Here is a movie for people who haunt the aisles of the video stores searching for 1950s romances. I could have seen it at the Princess Theater in Urbana in 1959. Maybe I did. It's retro in every respect, a romantic comedy in a world so innocent that a lifetime is settled with a kiss."
Ebert also raises — and leaves unanswered — an interesting question about Nathan Lane, who has what's almost a cameo role as Hamilton's agent, Richard Levy. "Here's the highest-priced Broadway star of his generation, and what's he doing in this little role, anyway?"
"Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!" runs 1:35, is rated PG-13 for some sexual content, and was directed by Robert Luketic.
It is playing at Market Square East on St. Thomas.

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