The Wedding Date (HD DVD)

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

Ah…weddings. Fortunately (or unfortunately, whichever the case may be) I’ve not had the pleasure of being a part of one, well I’ve been in them but never the center of attention if you know what I mean. I suppose there’s a lot of tension associated with them, otherwise why would there by so many movies/books written about the sheer Hell that is getting married. Don’t let my jaded outlook on life deter any future lovebirds out there…really. What I mean to say is that it looks like the mere mention of the word “wedding” seems to send chills down anyone’s spine that’s ever been though one. The planning, the emotions and all the million little details in between must drive people insane. So insane that it apparently prompts a character like Kat (Debra Messing) to hire a date for her sister’s wedding and paying him $6000 for “Services Rendered”. Therein lays the plot to “The Wedding Planner”, a romantic comedy along the lines of “Pretty Woman” in that you can still fall in love with someone you pay for…or can you?

Kat (Debra Messing) has searched high and low for a date to her sister’s wedding in London. She’s found the man, paid him an ample amount of money for his time so they can give the impression that they’re not only dating – they’re in love. The usual things happen, much like in “Meet the Parents”, as the family is introduced to Nick (Dermot Mulroney) the two share their story of how they met and what lies ahead for the future. Naturally, the two start to get to know each other and start developing real feelings for each other, but with an unexpected turn of events, will things ever work out?

“The Wedding Date” is your typical romantic comedy and it came out last Spring just in time for the wedding season (no doubt planned by the Marketing geniuses at Universal, no less). It opened to less-than-stellar reviews, but I found it fairly entertaining. I think Debra Messing is one of the more beautiful women out there, though I prefer her hair in her naturally curly “Will & Grace” style. At any rate, the movie has some pretty slow points and it falls into the predictable pratfalls that so many other romantic comedies seem to have in abundance. For a rainy day, this might be good as a rental. The extra features aren’t really enough to sell the disc, but Messing’s commentary track is fairly interesting to say the least. For this type of movie, I’d recommend “My Best Friend’s Wedding” coincidentally starring Mulroney.

Video: How does it look?

“The Wedding Date” looked pretty good on standard DVD and fans will be happy that the 1.85:1 VC-1 encoded transfer looks pretty darn good on High Definition as well. Colors are strong and not too over powering and I noticed a lot more detail in this transfer than in the previous release. Naturally, with this being an HD title what little edge enhancement was lost and overall we get a nice, clean-looking transfer. There’s not a whole lot else to say, for all intents and purposes this is a “new” release and as such, this HD DVD is the best the film has (and probably ever will) look.

Audio: How does it sound?

The Dolby Digital Plus soundtrack is just a hair better than the previous Dolby Digital 5.1 mix found on the standard DVD, then again romantic comedies aren’t exactly the types of movies that will showcase your home theater. Dialogue is, of course, very warm and natural with a very strong center channel balance to it. Surrounds come into play during some key moments but for the most part, the majority of sound is limited to the front stage. There’s nothing really to complain about, then again there’s nothing to really brag about either. It’s a good effort, but there wasn’t a lot to work with in the first place.

Supplements: What are the extras?

If you own the standard DVD then you’ll be happy that all of the features from that disc are ported over to this HD DVD. And while “The Wedding Date” doesn’t really have a lot to offer in terms of supplements; the feature commentary with lead actress Debra Messing has its moments, but I found it a bit dull and dry. There are several spots in which she kind of just sits there and watches the movie herself. I think only the most hard core fan would want to give this a listen – as for me, it’s one I could have done without. There’s the obligatory featurette entitled “A Date with Debra” and several deleted scenes which were wisely left out of the movie. While “The Wedding Date” really didn’t disappoint, I just felt it too predictable (like most romantic comedies) and there are certainly others in the genre that will get the message across in a better manner than this.

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