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The Fractured Mirror

Created by Nathan Rabin

Nathan Rabin's Happy Place's Definitive Guide to American Movies about the Film Industry

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The Fractured Mirror: California Suite (1978)
5 months ago – Sat, Sep 30, 2023 at 07:19:55 AM

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The Fractured Mirror entry: Hardcore (1979)
5 months ago – Thu, Sep 28, 2023 at 07:00:39 AM

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The Fractured Mirror entry: The Stand-In (2020)
5 months ago – Tue, Sep 26, 2023 at 09:18:47 AM

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The Fractured Mirror entry: du-Beat-E-O
5 months ago – Sun, Sep 24, 2023 at 06:41:09 AM

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The Fractured Mirror entry: Win a Date With Tad Hamilton (2004)
5 months ago – Sat, Sep 23, 2023 at 06:41:06 AM

Win A Date with Tad Hamilton (2004)FM

Robert Luketic followed up his 2001 breakout debut Legally Blonde with 2004’s Win a Date With Tad Hamilton, a retro return to the glossy romantic comedies and dramas of producer Ross Hunter with a little Frank Tashlin sprinkled in for good measure.

The eight time Teen Choice nominee casts an irresistible Kate Bosworth as the regrettably named Rosalee Futch, a West Virginian who works at a Piggly Wiggly alongside best friends Cathy Feely (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Pete Monash (Topher Grace), who also happens to be her boss. The small town girl with the radiant smile gets a ticket to the big time when she wins a contest for a glamorous evening out with the titular movie star, a self-destructive playboy looking to rehabilitate his image in order to snag a plum movie role.

Josh Duhamel is way too appealing in the title role. In the not so grand tradition of romantic comedy formula we’re supposed to root for the everyman best friend who has been pining away forever to get the girl. Grace is an innately likable performer but his character is written as a controlling, self-pitying, entitled Nice Guy type where Tad Hamilton is handsome, sweet, funny and genuinely enamored of Rosalee for understandable reasons. 

Grace’s lovestruck Piggy Wiggly manager might actually be the least sympathetic character in a film with a dynamite supporting cast that includes Gary Cole as Rosalee’s suddenly show business-obsessed dad and Nathan Lane and Sean Hayes both channelling Tony Randall as Tad’s high-powered Hollywood team.

Win a Date With Tad Hamilton errs in making the right guy seem like the wrong guy and the wrong guy seem like the right guy but it’s a charming enough throwback to the days of Rock Hudson and Doris Day to make that central mistake eminently forgivable.