Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! is a 2004 American romantic comedy film directed by Robert Luketic, written by Victor Levin, and starring Kate Bosworth, Topher Grace, Josh Duhamel, Gary Cole, Ginnifer Goodwin, Sean Hayes, and Nathan Lane. Heavily inspired by Ram Gopal Varma's 1995 Indian film Rangeela,[3][4] the film follows a small-town girl (Bosworth) who wins a contest for a date with a male celebrity (Duhamel), and a love triangle forms between the girl, the star, and the girl's best friend (Grace).

The name of "Tad Hamilton" has been seen as a cross between the names of screen idols Tab Hunter and George Hamilton.[5][6][7]

The film received mixed reviews from critics and earned $17.1 million in the United States and $4.2 million overseas for a worldwide total of $21.3 million, making it a commercial failure against a $22 million budget.


The film opens with a soldier and nurse getting out of two 1940-style cars in the middle of night. The nurse runs up to the soldier and the camera switches to reveal this to be a scene from a film. The three Piggly Wiggly store workers—Rosalee, Cathy, and Pete—are watching and as the nurse on screen asks for forgiveness and the soldier agrees, the women in the audience are moved to tears as Pete is clearly unimpressed. As the girls wonder what Tad Hamilton—the star of the film—is doing at that moment, their prediction of praying is proven false as the scene cuts to Tad—described in the next scene by his agent—"drinking, driving, smoking, leering, and groping all at the same time".

The conclusion of the agent scene is that Tad must clean up his act to convince a director to cast him in an upcoming film; the solution, a competition to win a date with Tad, is found out by Rosalee as she surfs the internet. With the help of the Piggly Wiggly customers and the reluctant agreement of Pete, the girls raise the $100 entrance money as Pete reveals to his superior that he will leave for Richmond to go to college after he has a discussion "with someone about going to Richmond with me." This person is obviously Rosalee, but a news crew outside her house signals her success at winning a date with Tad Hamilton, and as Pete sees her off at the airport he sadly warns her to guard her "carnal treasure." Rosalee is awed by Los Angeles and becomes tongue-tied in Tad's presence; the date does not go well as Rosalee throws up in the limo and Tad mentioning his love of animals—which Pete had warned was a signal of sexual intentions—rouses her suspicions. After seeing Tad's house, Rosalee requests to go back to the hotel and soon returns home leaving Tad thoughtful.

As Pete is about to tell Rosalee about moving to Richmond she is surprised—as much as Pete is disappointed—by Tad's sudden arrival to get to know her and have some of her goodness rub off on him. Though Rosalee is still cynical of him as he uses a line from one of his films, his admission of not having "his priorities straight" seems to convince her of his good intentions. During a phone call with his agent, Tad insists that he wants to turn over a new leaf, and will not return to Los Angeles for a while. When he picks Rosalee up for a date he leaves a good impression on Rosalee's father, who had studied hard for the encounter. Pete tries to stop Rosalee seeing Tad by reporting the pair for parking at the infamous Water Gap, convincing her that Tad is just using her, and directly competing with Tad in farmyard chores; despite all his efforts, Rosalee and Tad grow close over the next few days.

In the bar, Pete corners Tad in the men's room and after giving up the competition for Rosalee's love tells Tad that Rosalee is more than a wholesome small town girl, she is a wonderful person with "the kind of beauty a guy only sees once." He explains about her six smiles: one smile when something makes her laugh, one for polite laughter, one for when she makes plans, one when she makes fun of herself, one when she's uncomfortable, and one when she's talking about her friends. He makes Tad swear not to break her heart or he will tear Tad to pieces with his "vicious rhetoric." When the pair is in Tad's hotel room, his agents appear and inform him that the director has decided to cast him in the film after all. Tad is overjoyed and convinces her to come to LA with him by using Pete's "six smile" speech.

After a rousing speech about great love from Angelica, a barmaid with a crush on him, Pete rushes to Rosalee's house and confesses his love for her but she is confused and resolves to still go to LA with Tad. On the plane when Tad fails to identify one of Rosalee's smiles, he confesses his lie and she asks to go home. She runs to Piggly Wiggly and Pete's house, then drives furiously towards Richmond to overtake her heartbroken friend. And, in a set-up similar to the opening scene, Rosalee and Pete get out of their cars and Pete, surrendering to cheesy romance, asks her to dance.





Box office

The film opened in 2,711 venues on January 23, 2004 and earned $7,320,066 in its opening weekend, ranking third in the North American box office and second among the week's new releases.[8] The film ultimately grossed $17,071,962 in North America and $4,206,494 internationally for a worldwide total of $21,278,456. Based on a $22 million budget, the film was a box office bomb.[2]

Critical response

Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a 52% approval rating based on 145 reviews, with an average of 5.6/10. The site's consensus states: "Formulaic romantic comedy works better than it should thanks to a charming cast."[9] Metacritic reports a score of 52 out of 100 based on 35 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[10]

Roger Ebert criticized that Duhamel's character always seems more likeable than Grace's, and that the film spends more time building up Rosalee and Tad, rather than Rosalee and Pete. Bosworth's acting was praised for holding the film together.[11] Carla Meyer regarded the film as being tonally inconsistent, from being a retro romantic comedy to a modern (albeit gentle) satire, pointing out in particular the character played by Goodwin as going from wondering if Hamilton is at church to propositioning Hamilton.[12] Stephen Holden regards the film as having a plot from the 1950s, "dressed up just enough to seem contemporary". Holden regards Bosworth as having the toughest part, showing Rosalee's "feet-on-the-ground optimism and innate wisdom" easily.[13]

Home media

The film was released on VHS and DVD on April 20, 2004. The DVD features 15 deleted scenes.


  1. "Superfabulous" - BT feat. Rose McGowan
  2. "Special" - Wilshire
  3. "Some Days" - Wheat
  4. "More Bounce in California" - Soul Kid #1
  5. "Why Can't I?" - Liz Phair
  6. "Back to You" - John Mayer
  7. "Something About You" - Five for Fighting
  8. "Days Go By" - Jason Wade
  9. "Leading with My Heart" - Alice Peacock
  10. "Blue" - The Thorns
  11. "Waiting" - Kyle Riabko
  12. "I Won't Go Hollywood" - Bleu
  13. "Somebody" - Bonnie McKee
  14. "Shining" - Kristian Leontiou
  15. "Once Again" - Frankie Jordan
  16. "Can't Get Enough of Your Love" - Barry White


External links


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