Making the Grades
A night of wild drinking and reckless driving with a party girl sends Tad Hamilton's (Josh Duhamel) good boy image spiraling down the drain when the pictures of his escapades show up in the morning papers. Trying to contain the damage, the actor's agent, Richard Levy (Nathan Lane), and his manager, also named Richard Levy (Sean Hayes), propose a Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! contest as a charity fundraiser.
Promising to donate the contest entry fees to a save-the-children's organization, the two Richards plan to pick a well-behaved, wholesome applicant to share photo ops with Tad and help restore his aura as a nice guy with Tinsel Town's directors.
Perky, petite and perfectly blonde, Rosalee Futch (Kate Bosworth), a grocery clerk from Frazier's Bottom, West Virginia, is exactly the kind of small town goodness the Hollywood business boys need to get their client's career back on track.
When a camera crew shows up on her front lawn to announce she is the winner of a dreamy date with Tad in sunny California, the fair-haired price checker and her chum Cathy (Ginnifer Goodwin) squeal with delight at Rosalee's good luck. But her friend Pete (Topher Grace), the local Piggly Wiggly employee of the month--26 consecutive times--isn't nearly so exuberant.
Pals with Rosalee for 22 years, Pete is madly in love with his coworker but has never mustered the courage to tell her. However, if proclaiming his ardor seemed hard before, it grows increasingly difficult when Tad, love-struck with Rosalee, follows her back to Frazier's Bottom and settles into the little town. Suddenly Pete's wall full of employee recognition plaques and a store manager title seem piddly in comparison to Tad's good looks, fast cars and on-screen magnetism.
Along with Tad's drinking habits, the three friends use alcohol as a means of socializing in the local bar and also as an occasional way of soothing their problems. Brief suggestive language and Cathy's voicing of her erotic dreams about Tad may also lessen this film's draw for some families.
But old-fashioned romances---where love doesn't mean a romp in the hay---are difficult if not impossible to find, and a guy who begs a girl to keep her virtue is nearly unheard of in most scripts today. These facts alone make this film stand out from the mass of mediocre movies that seem to promote lust over love. As well, these young actors bring to the screen a chemistry that works well in both comedic, laugh-right-out-loud moments and more serious stints.
Winning a date with the acting world's hottest heartthrob is a fairytale dream come true for this adoring Cinderella who discovers that happily-ever-after-endings sometime include the most unexpected handsome princes.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!.
Although Pete had a hard time expressing his feelings for Rosalee, what did his actions reveal? How can a persons treatment of another be a more powerful statement than words alone?
Movies sometimes portray characters as very one-dimensional. How did this film develop the characters? What qualities make a character more appealing to audiences?