1. Archive

For now, a mystery "Date'

Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! (PG-13) sounds like an update of Bye, Bye Birdie except nobody sings. TV actor Josh Duhamel, right (Danny McCoy on NBC's Las Vegas; formerly Leo on All My Children), plays the title role, a hunky movie star hooked by his agents (Nathan Lane and Sean Hayes) into a publicity stunt dream date with a fan. She turns out to be Piggly Wiggly checkout clerk Rosalee Futch (Kate Bosworth, center), and it's doubtful she'll grow up to be another Ann-Margret).

Topher Grace, left, of That '70s Show, gets the Bobby Rydell part: Rosalee's close friend and co-worker Pete, who's jealous of her attention to the handsome celebrity. When the date with Tad goes better than expected, Pete tries to compete, hoping to convince Rosalee that life with a shelf stocker in sweet home West Virginia is better than living with a sex symbol in the lap of luxury. Only a movie would attempt to sell that fantasy.

Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! is directed by Robert Luketic, who worked wonders with Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde, then had the good sense to skip an obligatory sequel. The screenplay was written by Victor Levin, who wrote and directed some episodes of the unlamented sitcom Mad About You and created the quickly canceled Ladies Man. The movie wasn't screened in time for Weekend review.

_ STEVE PERSALL, Times film critic