Making the Grades
Nick Mercer (Dermot Mulroney) sells sex. As a professional male escort, he also provides companionship, personal counseling and a strong arm to lean on in difficult situations.
Kat Ellis (Debra Messing) isn't interested in the sex--at least until she sees Nick in the shower. (While the scene is prolonged and played for humor, viewers are only exposed to shots from behind.)
Instead, Kat is heading to London to attend her little sister's (Amy Adams) wedding and her ex-fiance Jeffery (Jeremy Sheffield) just happens to be the best man. As well, her image conscious mother is concerned how the whole single white female thing will look to the rest of the guests. So rather than show up at the matrimonial event obviously unattached, she hires Nick to play the part of her boyfriend.
Nick is exactly what his ad purports: handsome, sophisticated, self-assured and always in complete control of the situation. He breezes into the festivities with Kat on his arm and immediately charms everyone, including her parents, the entire wedding party and all the girls at the bachelorette bash. Always pressed, dressed and waiting in the wings, he is the perfect ornamental accessory.
Unfortunately, the other characters in this film fail to possess the same charisma. While her goal may be to torture her former lover, Kat's actions often come across as neurotic, gawky, and even flippant. Although firmly expressing her moral repugnance for purchased sex, her principles quickly morph into an aggressive attack on Nick after a night of drinking with the girls.
For their part, her parents (Holland Taylor, Peter Egan) are nonchalant about both of their daughters' illicit premarital activities and the copious amounts of alcohol everyone consumes at the prenuptial proceedings. Explicit sexual comments, suggestive dialogue and doses of innuendo crop up at every family gathering along with plenty of profanities.
Like the employer/prostitute relationship in Pretty Woman, these two unlikely characters find their business proposal turning into a proposition of another kind. But Nick's career in the sex trade raises some unanswered questions--like what is he going to do for a job if he gets romantically involved with his client. Additionally, the glamorization of his profession and the improbable nature of their meeting will likely cause concern for parents of young audience members.
While this man-for-hire shows up just in the Nick of time to save the jilted maid of honor, he can't save The Wedding Date from clumsy script writing, awkward editing and a highly improbable coupling.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about The Wedding Date.
What is the chance of meeting someone like Nick through a personal ad? How quickly does Kat’s relationship with Nick develop? Does her apparent desperation for a male companion play into the affair?
Although they are never discussed, what might be some consequences of purchased sex? Could Nick’s career choice cause some difficulties in a long-term relationship? How is the sex trade portrayed?
Forgiveness is meted out quickly in this film. Would it be so easy to forgive someone for betraying you? Is forgiveness used as a way to resolve the lack of consequences portrayed in the script?