See Jane Date (2003)
Main cast: Charisma Carpenter (Jane Grant), David Lipper (Ethan Miles), Joshua Malina (Kevin), Evan Marriott (Hank), Cameron Mathison (Gary), Eddie McClintock (Kurt), Zachary Levi (Grant), Rachelle Lefevre (Eloise), Sadie LeBlanc (Amanda), Yannick Bisson (Max), Kim Schraner (Dana), Linda Dano (Aunt Ina), Antonio Sabato Jr (Timothy Rommelly), and Holly Marie Combs (Natasha Nutley)
Director: Robert Berlinger


See Jane Date is based on the book of the same name by Melissa Senate. The book is a derivative book typical of the chick-lit formula and if this book is the result of a slavish attempt by an American author to emulate her British counterparts in the genre, it really shows even in the Hallmark TV movie. I guess this is what they mean by making a faithful adaptation of a book.

Jane Grant, in this movie, is a trendy junior editor working at a publishing company and coexisting uneasily with her ex, Max, whom she still has a crush on. This movie does not even touch on why those two break up. Jane is invited to her cousin Dana's wedding and her Aunt Ina is always hinting that Jane should go out with this cute guy Aunt met the other day, Ethan Miles. Jane says no, of course. Meanwhile, a make-or-break task lands on her lap: she must "help" a fading actress, Natasha Mutley, hand in her autobiography in time. Natasha is famous for her affair with an unnamed married actor and this temperamental diva is Jane's schoolmate, so Jane will have no problems with this assignment, right?

Jane concocts a fake doctor boyfriend to impress Natasha, but alas, Dana overhears this and now expects Jane to show up at her wedding with this boyfriend. Jane has now a limited time to date and find a boyfriend to take along with her to Dana's wedding. Who will this man be? The hunky Gary? The handsome doctor Timothy Romelly? Or how about Ethan Miles?

The script is very pedestrian, as would be expected when one makes a rushed job out of a very average novel. The movie is predictable, right down to the lip service feminist epiphany Jane makes before sliding back to lovelorn mode again in time for Prince Charming to sweep her off her feet. See Jane Date is a pleasant, unmemorable movie that is nothing more than an excuse for a group of hunks (and that ugly creature from Joe Nillionaire, unfortunately) to get together in one movie. Any movie with cutie-pies Yannic Bisson, David Lipper, and the perpetually shirtless Cameron Mathison can't be all bad, right?

Charisma Carpenter, fresh off her departure from the TV series Angel, plays Jane with charming aplomb, and she has some nice chemistry with the man that turns out to be her Mr Right. Holly Marie Combs is enjoyable to watch too - it is lovely to remember that she is actually good at playing dramatic roles instead of merely snapping out her awful lines as Piper Halliwell on Charmed. Antonio Sabato Jr is less successful in trying to pass himself off as a doctor though. When Evan Marriott can outact him, that's how wooden Sabato Jr is in this movie. Or in all the movies he has appeared in, come to think of it.

See Jane Date doesn't try too hard to be anything more than what it aims to be: a generic, pleasant, but unmemorable Hallmark movie. It has enough superficial charms to make it worth a watch should one's cable chooses to rerun it come Valentine's Day, provided there's nothing else more exciting to do, that is.

Rating: 71


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