Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!

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. 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).

Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!
Win A Date With Tad Hamilton! poster.JPG
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRobert Luketic
Written byVictor Levin
Produced by
CinematographyPeter Collister
Edited byScott Hill
Music byEdward Shearmur
Distributed byDreamWorks Pictures
Release date
  • January 23, 2004 (2004-01-23)
Running time
96 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$22 million[2]
Box office$21.3 million[2]

The name of "Tad Hamilton" has been seen as a cross between the names of screen idols Tab Hunter and George Hamilton.[3][4][5]

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 1940s-style cars in the middle of the night. The nurse runs up to the soldier and the camera switches to reveal this to be a scene from a film. Three Piggly Wiggly store workers in Fraziers Bottom, West Virginia—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 ladies wonder what the film's star Tad Hamilton is doing at that moment, the scene cuts to Tad—described in the next scene by his agent—"drinking, driving, smoking, leering, and groping all at the same time".

Tad's agent tells him that his hedonistic lifestyle is damaging his reputation and career opportunities. In order to improve his image and convince a director to cast him in an upcoming film, his agents establish a competition to win a date with Tad with proceeds going towards the charity Save the Children. An online advertisement for the competition is found by Rosalee. With the help of the Piggly Wiggly customers and the reluctant agreement of Pete, Cathy and Rosalee 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".

A news crew arrives outside Rosalee's house, signalling her success at winning a date with Tad Hamilton. Subsequently, a despondent Pete sees her off at the airport. Rosalee is awed by Los Angeles and becomes tongue-tied in Tad's presence; the date does not go well as Rosalee vomits in the limousine 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 rekindle their relationship. 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 their date by reporting the pair for illegally parking. He tries to convince Rosalee that Tad is just using her. Despite all his efforts, Rosalee and Tad grow close over the next few days.

In the bar, Pete corners Tad in a men's room stall. After conceding that Rosalee is in love with Tad, Pete tells Tad that Rosalee is more than a "wholesome small town girl", Rosalee 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. Pete makes Tad swear not to break her heart or he will tear Tad to pieces with his bare hands or "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 Rosalee to come to Los Angeles with him by using Pete's "six smiles" 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, where Angelica really lets her have it. She tells Rosalee how Pete felt and mentions he's going to Richmond to escape his heartbreak then drives furiously towards Richmond to overtake her heartbroken friend. Similar to the opening scene, Rosalee and Pete get out of their cars and Pete, surrendering to a romantic song on the car radio, asks her to dance.



Box officeEdit

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.[10] 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 responseEdit

Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a 53% approval rating based on 146 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."[11] Metacritic reports a score of 52 out of 100 based on 35 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[12]

Roger Ebert criticized the film, noting that Duhamel's character always seems more likeable than Grace's, and that the film spends more time building up a romance between Rosalee and Tad, rather than Rosalee and Pete. Bosworth's acting was praised for holding the film together.[13] 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.[14] 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.[15]

Home mediaEdit

The film was released on VHS and DVD by DreamWorks Home Entertainment on April 20, 2004. The DVD features 16 deleted scenes.[9] It is scheduled to be released on Blu-ray by Paramount Home Entertainment on April 26, 2022.[16]


  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

In popular cultureEdit

The movie was referenced in an episode of Joey when Joey’s neighbour said he helped the movie win Best Picture at the People’s Choice Awards through online voting.


  1. ^ "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. January 22, 2004. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! (2004)". Box Office Mojo. April 2, 2004. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  3. ^ :: Review - Win A Date With Tad Hamilton
  4. ^ Win a Date With Tad Hamilton | - Houston Chronicle
  5. ^ Movie Tad Hamilton Archived April 5, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Credits". BBC. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  7. ^ Aldridge, Dave. "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!". Radio Times. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!". TV Guide. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Papamichael, Stella. "Win A Date With Tad Hamilton DVD". BBC. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  10. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for January 23-25, 2004". Box Office Mojo. January 26, 2004. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  11. ^ "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton! (2004)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  12. ^ "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! (2004)". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 18, 2009.
  13. ^ Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! Movie Review (2004) | Roger Ebert
  14. ^ Josh Duhamel is cuter than the rest of 'Tad Hamilton' - SFGate
  15. ^ Hollywood Star vs. Local Hunk - What&#146 - s a Girl to Do? -
  16. ^ Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! Blu-ray, retrieved February 17, 2022

External linksEdit