Today’s Prayer Focus

The Wedding Date

MPA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPA) for sexual content including dialogue.

Reviewed by: Sheri McMurray

Moral Rating: Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Adults Teens
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Length: 1 hr. 30 min.
Year of Release: 2005
USA Release: February 4, 2005 (wide)
Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Universal Pictures

For a follower of Christ, what is LOVE—a feeling, an emotion, or an action?

What is true love and how do you know when you have found it?

Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Christian answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more. Valuable resources for Christian couples, singles and pastors.

Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

Featuring Debra Messing, Dermot Mulroney, Holland Taylor, Jack Davenport, Jeremy Sheffield
Director Clare Kilner
Producer Nathalie Marciano, Norm Waitt, Michelle Chydzik, Paul Brooks, Jessica Bendinger
Distributor Distributor: Universal Pictures. Trademark logo.Universal Pictures

“Love doesn’t come cheap.”

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “After returning to her parent’s London home for her sister’s wedding, a young woman hires a male-escort to pretend to be her boyfriend when she is forced to re-encounter her ex-fiancé.”

Women today have so much more responsibility than my Grandmother had in terms of the workplace, being a good role model to other girls, some being single mothers trying to juggle motherhood with a job and being the “Dad” figure too. Stress and performance rule each day.

Then the big concern of STDs and getting across the sensitive issue to young girls that sex is something saved for marriage let alone the moral points involved with casual sex. Everywhere we look we see and hear conflicting messages about sex in general. Girls today run around in low cut jeans and high cut tops with their belly buttons showing. They think it’s cute, but it sends the wrong message to the boys who look on with thoughts in their little heads which are far from cute. Girls are taught that to avoid STDs like AIDS they should plan to have one pardner for life, but then schools pass out condoms and teach the false philosophy of “safe sex.”

Then we send them off to the movies thinking a PG-13 rated romantic comedy is also safe. Just as life has gotten more complicated since Grandma was a girl, so has sending your kids off to the show. “The Wedding Date” is not about a wedding and it is not about a date. To be frank, it’s about sex. Illicit sex, sex with lust, sex with strangers, sex before marriage, sex with a male prostitute and before it’s done this film shows how uncontrolled sex is not love and how it can hurt and ruin the lives of far more people than just the two who are involved in the act.

Kat Ellis (an always beautiful Debra Messing) has to attend her sister’s wedding in London, has just come off of a seven year live in relationship with her boyfriend Jeff (Jeremy Sheffield), who also will be the Best Man, and Kat doesn’t have a “guest” to attend with her. Because she is so overly concerned with what her family will think of her if she comes without a date, and throw in the concept that she wants her ex boyfriend to get jealous over the fact that she might be more in love with someone else than she was with him, Kat seeks out and secures the services of a hired escort to pose as her new perfect suitor.

Enter Nick Mercer (handsome and alluring Dermot Mulroney), not just any old escort, but a upper scale male prostitute with a price tag of $6,000 (and that’s before the First Class air fare and any sexual favors). Evidently Kat is so desperate to make a good show for her family and get back at Jeff that she is willing to pay the price for two out of three.

Kat and Nick get off to a nervous introduction and try to get to know one another during the flight to London well enough to fool the wedding guests. As in any romantic comedy Kat’s plans start falling through the moment they arrive at the week long dinners, rehearsals and family pre wedding parties. The first being the fact that her Mother (an always perfect upper crust portrayal by Holland Taylor) allows them to stay in the same room together. When Kat starts to explain to Nick that her Mother will show him to his room Mom announces she has become more “modern” in her thinking, winks at Nick and states, “I am not as small town as my daughter seems to think.”

What ensues next is plenty of funny scenes, lots of fun wedding activities, family high jinks and the usual road taken down concluding in the fact that Kat and Nick are falling in love. It’s “That Girl” meets the male equivalent of “Pretty Woman.”

The problem is that Kat gets so drunk at the bachelorette party that she seduces Nick when she arrives back home, he thinks she meant it and she, in fact doesn’t remember the incident. This hurts Nick, as he starts to realize he’s falling in love with Kat, and that is the top no-no for a male escort, so he then tries to charge her for the sex he already has denied they had. Now that you are completely confused, add the fact that ex boyfriend Jeff is jealous, but not because of Nick. It turns out he is in love with the bride, Kat’s sister Amy (a sweet Amy Adams) and reveals to Nick that Amy was the reason he and Kat broke up. So everyone in the family knows this dish except for Kat herself, and the lovably unaware Groom, Edward (Jack Devenport from Pirates of the Carribean).

It all comes to a head the day of the wedding, causing much pain, guilt, and feelings of deceit. As the wedding is delayed the characters come together to confess and ask for forgiveness. Edward, in a show of great love and humility forgives Amy for not telling him of her affair with Jeff (who has run away as all bad guys do, never to return)and the Wedding commences with Nick standing in as the new Best Man, everyone tearful, forgiven and happy. As all is ending happily ever after in this modern tale of love-with-the-proper-stranger, it is noted that Nick leaves “the business.” Ah, love conquers all.

Parents should know that this movie includes too strong material for a PG-13. “The Wedding Date” includes brief partial nudity showing the backside of Nick’s character and an uncomfortable scene where it is inferred the Kat character is looking at the penis of the Nick character. There are far too many explicit sexual references (including prostitution, infidelity, jokes about orgasms, the idea that “the best sex is make-up sex,” and a drunken sexual encounter that is supposed to be romantic and implies that sex is what “falling in love” is all about), smoking and a lot of drinking having the characters get drunk and hung over. Then there is the troubling problem of having a light romantic comedy with characters whose behavior is relentlessly unsavory. This gives a sour taste to the purported comedy. Kat’s English cousin is supposed to be delightfully outrageous. But raunchy is not the same thing as outrageous. I was surprised at the content of this movie as it was written and directed by women, I expected less sex and more character depth.

Moving on to profanity, you will not want your kids to hear “sh**” twice, “bull***t” once, “bast**d” once, “a**hole” once, and many explicatives that refer to sex such as “shagging…,” “I’m just screwin’ with ya”, and so on. There are several times the Lord’s name is used in irreverent terms. There are no indications whatsoever that any of these characters were religious in any form.

Also this film sends so many mixed messages on other aspects of life such as being single is miserable, but being single also makes life “hot.” Kat’s character exclaims “I feel like crap, but I wanna look hot doing it!” Discuss that being single can be a blessing and is a choice that Paul made in order to serve The Lord with all his heart. When asked why Nick would be paid to go to many funerals, but that this was his first paid wedding, he (referring to the funerals) laments “…imagine facing that alone.” I say, imagine facing that with God at your side.

The redeeming aspects of “The Wedding Date” are that the characters do finally come to honest terms with their infidelities and hurtful conduct. When Edward leaves the bachelor party because he couldn’t stand watching any other woman except for the one he loves, especially on the eve of his wedding, Nick commends his behavior by reassuring Edward that a man in love doesn’t want a prostitute or any other woman besides. When Nick knows he is in love with Kat, he gives all the money back she has paid him, knowing it was wrong to accept it in the first place. Amy uses much courage to confess to Kat of her infidelity with Jeff, then in humility asks for Kat’s forgiveness. The family showed genuine love, and healing was attributed to these characters because of that love. It is a disadvantage that the love wasn’t taken a level further and shown in a Christ-like manner. It would have made so much more sense.

Ephesians 5:18 tells us not to be “drunk with wine, wherein is excess,” but to be filled with The Holy Spirit so we understand what the will of The Lord is. First Peter 1:13-17 deals with our conduct by highlighting to “…be sober… as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance” and to be holy in all manner of conversation. Finally Paul addressed the immoral conduct of the Corinthians in his day and what he pleaded with them is just as profound today. I Corinthians 6:18-20 gives all humanity this beautiful and relevant rule to live by, “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is without the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body… do you not know that your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you?…You are God’s and you are not your own!…For you were bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s!”

If your children happen across this film before you can pre-screen it, please discuss in depth the will of God for their lives, their bodies and what true unconditional love is really all about. There is so much confusion in the world today over this issue. Let them know they don’t have to follow the way of the world and if temptation comes that God has promised to create in them a new heart and a steadfast spirit and will sustain them and give them strength and hope.

Violence: Minor / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Heavy

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Negative—I agree with the reviewer. This movie was supposed to be a light-hearted comedy, but it is offensive. The whole thing is preoccupied with sex and an extremely dysfunctional family. We hadn’t planned on seeing this movie and it was a mistake to have gone. The story is very predictable.
My Ratings: Very Offensive/3
Lynn, age 43
Negative—It blows my mind that people actually get paid to write something like this. What’s worse is that a studio said “Hey, lets make it.” I imagine a group of 5th graders could brainstorm and come up with something far more entertaining anD original. The film is utterly dreadful from start to finish. We are given no reason to like any of the characters. The two leads have zero chemistry, the dialogue is hokey and the director presents it all in an almost episodic fashion, as if we are watching a bunch of 3 minute clips that don’t flow at all.

The morals in the film are non-existent, with characters who are far more interested in sex than anything else, and the two leads have sex after really only having two or three conversations longer than 3 minutes. And sadly, this is yet another film that seems to think women are only happy if they have a stud to show off to their friends. Not all women are woefully lonely, and I imagine the majority of single Christian women out there would just sit back and laugh at how wrong this film really is.
My Ratings: Very Offensive/1
Negative—I went in to this movie thinking it would be the typical romantic comedy. However, after five minutes I was ready to leave after a comment made by the cousin that was very offensive. There were also a row of ten-year old girls sitting in front of me so I noticed everything wrong with the movie. The movie repeatedly talked about what a male escort does, about paying for sex, and sexual comments were made throughout the movie. I kept seeing the girls in front of me turning their faces at all of the bad parts. The movie was not appropriate for children or teens because they might think love can be found this way. The movie did show scenes of forgiveness and honesty, but the love and drunkenness portrayed were not biblical in any way. I would never watch this movie again, and I love romantic movies.
My Ratings: Very Offensive/1
Amy, age 24
Negative—It is a backwards Pretty Woman, minus the character build up and/or plot twists. It is also lacking the sparkle. I will absolutely not have any of my kids see this film. If you are really craving that sort of movie, just see Pretty Woman again (another movie that is totally in conflict with Christian values, but at least has some depth and sparkle.)
My Ratings: Very Offensive/3
Julie, age 41
Positive—I thought the movie was adorable. Even though Debra Messing’s character hires an escort to make her ex jealous, it was not offensive. The movie did not concentrate on the details of the job of an escort. As a whole the movie was light-hearted and fun. Some people didn’t like it because they concentrated too hard on the minor sex comments. I wouldn’t take children under the age of ten to see it, but its fine for pre-teens and older. For the most part they won’t even understand the sexual contnet of it.
My Ratings: Good/3
Cori, age 22
Negative—This movie was not rated correctly. It should have been rated R for the blatant talk and use of sex! I am married, have 2 teenage sons. I went with my 65 year old mother to review it before going as a family and was glad I did! I was completely embarrassed! The title of the movie makes you think it’s going to be a cute “chick flick” film, but be warned… it is not! Lots of foul language, drunkenness, premarital sex, sex, sex, and did I mention sex!…
My Ratings: Very Offensive/2
April, age 41
Comments from young people
Negative—My friends voted to go to this movie, so I agreed. I wish I wouldn’t have. The movie was VERY predictable and basically pointless. There was drinking and drunk people and TONS of sexual references. Not anything worth seeing.
My Ratings: Very Offensive/3½
Maggie, age 14
Movie Critics
…hires a male escort and male prostitute to make her ex-boyfriend jealous at her sister’s wedding… values are warped… too sleazy to recommend…
Dr. Tom Snyder, Movieguide
…pitiful… grim comedy… with seamy underpinnings… it’s hard to see how anyone even agreed to sign on for the picture…
Mike Clark, USA Today
…neither good art, good entertainment nor even good trash…
Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
…A fleet fling with formula, if no marriage made in heaven…
Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter
…this film, despite solid performances from the cast, just doesn’t do the trick. So my prediction for this “Wedding Date” is one very limited engagement…
Annabelle Robertson, Crosswalk
…Shallow …lacks chemistry… something is woefully missing in the matchup…
Steven Snyder, KIRO TV