The Reel Story: In the romantic comedy "The Wedding Date," we find a single girl (Debra Messing as Kat Ellis) faced with a common singleton conundrum: Who can she take to her sister's wedding? Compounding Kat's distress, her ex-fiance — who dumped her — is doing best-man duty at the wedding. Obviously, she can't go stag.
So Kat does what any resourceful, educated, good-looking woman would do — she scours the classifieds for a male escort to take her to the London wedding and pretend to be besotted with her. For $6,000 plus expenses, she gets Nick Mercer (Dermot Mulroney), an Ivy League-educated hunk — apparently you can't do much with a comparative literature degree besides working as an escort — who charms her family and sweeps Kat off her feet. Think a gender-reversed "Pretty Woman," and not the comedic man-whoring of "Deuce Bigalow."
Of course, we can't help but be intrigued: What is the going rate for a hunky guy to travel across the Atlantic for a week to act as arm candy for a wedding?
The Real Story: Kat Ellis paid roughly the going rate for an escort in the New York City area. Somehow, we're not surprised Hollywood got this one right.
A booker (who preferred to remain anonymous) at one Manhattan escort service explained that nightly rates ranged from "about $500 to $1,000," but noted that the price might come down a bit if someone were booked for an entire week. Apparently, long-term bookings like Kat's weeklong London stint don't come up much. "Most people only want an hour, which is $200," the booker explained.
One Web site trafficking exclusively in male escorts — serving both women and men — backed up our findings with extensive listings of escorts whose services were available for about $200 an hour or an average nightly rate of $1,000. However, at another site, we did find one tri-state-area gentleman willing to "escort" the ladies for the low rate of $60 an hour.
So, while Kat didn't get a bargain-basement rate for her wedding date, she paid about what any other city girl desperate enough to hire a date would pay. Still, we remain stumped as to why a swinging Manhattan girl like Kat doesn't have gay friends willing to step up. This would never happen to Grace.
Check out everything we've got on "The Wedding Date."
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