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This week:
Wedding Date

Filthy says:
"Making the seniors cream their Depends."

When you're a kid the adults tell you to follow your dreams. In fact, they hardly shut up about our dreams. There are even a lot of songs by insincere bands of grownups to this effect. Some shit about do what you want to do, and be what you want to be. Follow your dreams: keep reaching for the stars; keep your feet dancing; keep your feet on the ground; and keep your feet out of my God damn sandwich. Follow the fucking rainbow to the pot of gold, my father would say.

As a kid, I bought this crap, along with a lot of other crap the adults sold, like Marathon Bars, Silly Putty and Wacky Packs. I spent a lot of weekends hoping for rain so I could hop on my Stingray, get to the end of the rainbow before the other kids and then wait for the leprechauns. I figured I could sack the little bastards, stuff them into hamster cages and sell them to NASA. I didn't give a rat's ass about the gold. The money was, and still is, in leprechauns.

By my teen years I mostly figured out that my dad sent me chasing rainbows because he knew I'd never find the ends. It was just a way to get me out of the house so he could run stag films in the garage without me getting in the way. I still went looking, though, because that 8-mm movie of the crying lady getting fistfucked made me very sad.

I digress. This story isn't about porn. That would be every other review. This one is about the bullshit parents force feed us and the long-term negative effects. When the adults say follow your dreams, they mean only the ones that fall within a narrow band of acceptable behavior and historical results. They mean, follow your dream to be president but not porn actor. Wish to be a doctor but not a necrophile. Reach for that star called "industrial capitalist", but don't touch the one right next to it called "dead rock guitarist." Shoot for the moon, so long as once you get there you don't tell anyone what they found in the shallow gully behind Uncle Arnold's.

Dream offer does not apply if your dreams include: building hot rods; drinking until your tongue goes numb; kissing apes; stealing body organs, washing dishes or small engines repair. The adults should have said, "Shut up and do what you're told," instead of the dream lies. I believed them for a while, and I'm still picking the shards of my shattered dreams from the soles of my feet.

In grade school, they put me in "gifted" classes because I scored well on some reading tests and had a preternatural skill for word puzzles. I was a C-student fuckup, for sure, but the authorities' thinking was that my fuckuptitude was because of boredom. Regular classes weren't challenging me.

Until that promotion, the dream I followed was to coast by on as little effort as possible. If C is a passing grade, who the fuck would want to get an A? I figured being in the gifted class meant you'd already proved you weren't retarded, so you could slack off without the dumb kids wanting to know why they couldn't too. Pretty quickly, I learned the teachers expected you to do the regular school work and more. Being gifted meant not following your dreams, but following a more ambitious set of someone else's. What the hell is the point of being gifted if it means working harder? I thought the whole point was getting the same amount done with less effort.

I got bounced out of the program pretty fast, but before I did I learned that having a gifted brain is like having a truck: everyone else wants to use it to haul their heavy shit. Before I got tossed, they said it was a shame to waste my intelligence, and a tragedy to not apply to myself. To who? To those old farts? Who the fuck cares? It's my brain and I can do what I want. If I want to stick it in a disposal, it's none of their God damn business (although I wish someone had stopped me before I stuck my thumb in one). If my brain held the cure to cancer, it's still mine and I don't have to give it away. Brains aren't community property and the only reason it's a shame that someone else is lazy is because you want something from them.

I'm not gifted anymore. I recently took an IQ test online and the only result I got back was a scolding about using the computer without parental supervision. 17,000+ bottles of beer, a few dozen cans of acetone and a late-teen love affair with Testors model glue made sure of that I safely hid whatever those teachers were after. Remember, kids: you don't have to stay gifted. Follow your dream.

Where was I? Oh yeah, when I started, I had some point that tied into Wedding Date, a piss-poor movie aimed at sexless elderly women who hate bodily fluids, stopped screwing a decade ago and who refer to men as sexy without having any desire to fuck them. And that's who was in the theater with me on Friday: women so old and frigid I could hear their vaginas scratch like sandpaper when they walked. They laughed for a while, then stopped.

Wedding Date is not exactly a comedy of manners, or a romantic comedy, either, because the word comedy is too strong a term. Let's make up a term: Laxie, short for laxative, because saying Wedding Date is a romantic laxative sounds just about right.

Debra Messing is some sort of uptight professional who is going home for her sister's wedding. But while home, she will have to confront the ex-fiance who coldly dumped her. She doesn't want him to know how hurt she was, so she rents a very expensive male whore (Dermot Mulroney, who is like Tony Danza, but without the sparkle) to accompany her, borrowing a huge chunk of cash from her 401K to do it. Guess what the fuck happens? She falls in love with the whore and he with her. Everyone ends up happy. In the meantime, we get a tour of the English countryside and a cavalcade of laxie stereotypes like the brash mom who says inappropriate things, the randy best girlfriend, the bumbling, clueless man who turns out to be a sweetheart and not so clueless after all. Where the fuck are the rapping grandma and the gay guy with the bitchy fashion comments?

Now, I remember the analogy I wanted to make. Wedding Date takes place entirely in the narrow band of what adults want young people to dream of. The entire movie is so bland, weak and safe that it can't possibly offend anyone. It will entertain those who think that not be offended is the best kind of showbiz. It will bore the piss out of everyone else. This movie is made from compromised dreams and impersonal goals, written by someone who revised his goals until they fit safely within the acceptable range. It occasionally has a calculated sense of ribald; jokes meant to make old women feel naughty, but the rest of us feel like we're thumbing through a Playboy party joke book from the 50s.

What's most amazing is that in its effort to be terribly cute and as lush as a Thomas Kinkade wet dream, Wedding Date never bothers to develop the characters. There is some vague notion that Messing is uptight and vaguely disgusted that she has to resort to a whore. But then she fucks him and never stops to wonder if that is a little weird, or that falling in love with him is really weird. Mulroney is supposed to be highly polished and professional, yet he falls for Messing despite her lack of physical or mental attractiveness. Not only is this unprofessional, it makes no sense. Do whores go for girls who cry a lot and look tired? Maybe he digs chicks with bobbed noses, I know I went through that phase too. Why do they love each other and how did they realize the other felt the same way? One minute he says he's going to charge for sex, the next he's mad at her for even trying to pay. That's a shitty businessman.

Throughout the movie, other characters keep reminding us that both Mulroney and Messing are very attractive, vibrant people. It's a good thing because I would have never known otherwise. I can see Mulroney's acting being hot to women who fantasize about their kitchens. "Mmm, wouldn't he look good on the counters? So shiny, stiff and flat." He is supposed to exude confidence and smarts, but he isn't written with them. Really, we just listen to other characters say he does. essing is just so damn bland. There's no spark, nothing clever and definitely nothing sexy. She spends the movie pouting, crying and unhappy. We're supposed to believe that she was once fun, but we sure as hell don't get to see it.

Wedding Date has two saving graces: it's really fucking short--I walked in a few minutes late and was walking out 75 minutes later; and it's not Alone in the Dark. Two Fingers for this old-lady non-masturbatory fantasy.


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Shawn Edwards of Fox-TV

Hitch is "The comedy of the year! Highly entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny!"

The Wedding Date is "tremendously funny! An oild-fashioned romantic comedy with a cool contemporary vibe! Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney are a flawless match!"

Filthy's Reading
Peter Vincent - Hot Rod

Listening to
Pilot: Scott Tracy- Any City


Notting Hill