The title may be “Win a Date With Todd Hamilton!” but this movie is a loser. Taking a page from “Bye Bye Birdie” but excising the music and most of the charm from that 1960 Broadway show (and 1963 filmization), Robert Luketic’s follow-up to “Legally Blonde” is about a naive, unspoiled small-town girl who’s selected to enjoy a fabulous evening out with a celebrity–in this case her favorite Hollywood heartthrob rather than an Elvis Presley-style rock-and-roller–much to the chagrin of the local guy who’s long loved her from not-so-far. But its satirical take on the tinseltown scene proves even lamer than that which “Birdie” leveled against the music industry four decades ago, and the “regular folk” in the hinterlands are depicted with a lack of finesse that would embarrass even a TV sitcom; it’s not quite “Green Acres,” but it comes painfully close.

You know that Victor Levin’s script is in trouble the moment you hear the moniker he’s given the heroine–Kate Bosworth is saddled with the job of playing a pretty but ditzy West Virginia supermarket clerk named Rosalee Futch, a sign that the writer is stooping to the crudest kind of elbow-nudging in an effort to get laughs. (The town where she lives, moreover, is called Fraziers Bottom, and that gets quite a workout, too.) We meet sweet, airheaded Rosalee as she watches Todd Hamilton’s (Josh Duhamel) latest Bad Movie–an old-fashioned romance called “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”–with her equally dimwitted best pal Cathy (Ginnifer Goodwin) and their buddy Pete (Topher Grace), the manager at the local Piggly Wiggly where the two gals work in the checkout line. Pete, the cynic, insults the cliche-ridden goings-on occurring on screen, but Rosalee and Cathy wallow in every sappy moment, and later when they learn about a contest for a date in Hollywood with the actor–a ploy put together by his agents (Nathan Lane and Sean Hayes) to divert press attention from the bad-boy ways that threaten his clean-cut image–Rosalee enters and wins. Soon she’s off to tinseltown, where her wholesomeness apparently entrances Hamilton so completely that he follows her back to West Virginia. The remainder of the picture concentrates on whether Pete will ever screw up the courage to inform Rosalee that he loves her, or swept-off-her-feet Rosalee will instead tie the knot with the reformed Tad.

The problems with all this are legion. First, the two sides of the cultural divide are depicted with a bluntness that not even a seasoned network executive could find amusing. The West Coast part of things is so weak-kneed and old-hat that it can’t even be called satire; the worst element is surely the frantic, mirthless routine of Lane and Hayes, who resemble Two Very Unfunny Stooges. But the small-town stuff on the opposite end of the continent is no better. The natives are so dense about popular culture that one would think they lived on the dark side of the moon rather than West Virginia; it’s as though the town had embargoed Entertainment Weekly and all those gossipy TV magazine shows. (Most of the yucks in this department are supposed to be provided by Gary Cole as Rosalee’s sweetly dumb-bell dad, who tries to connect with Tad by boning up incongruously on studio mergers and wearing T-shirts bearing slogans like “Project Greenlight” and “For Your Consideration.”) And the denizens have absolutely nothing in common with West Virginians, past or present; bland and accent-less, they instead resemble the Californians who undoubtedly live where the picture was actually shot–since the location doesn’t resemble the state, either.

All that is secondary, however, to the feebleness of the plot. There’s really nothing to suggest why Hamilton would be so smitten with Rosalee in the first place–she’s pretty, no doubt, but kind of hapless, and his infatuation is implausible even by the low logical standards of the chick-flick genre. Still, his behavior is crystal clear compared to Pete’s. This guy has obviously had the hots for Rosalee for years, but he’s never had the guts to tell her, and she’s too oblivious to notice even when his parting words as she departs for California are “Preserve your carnal treasure!” (Huh?) The romantic triangle that “Date” turns into is really nothing more than a variant of the one that John Hughes recycled over and over again among his high school characters back in the eighties (remember “Pretty in Pink” and “Some Kind of Wonderful”?), but while one might be willing to swallow such stuff when it’s about teenagers, it seems insufferably sappy when the characters are appreciably older.

The dimness of the plot sabotages the efforts of the attractive cast. Bosworth is certainly lovely enough, but she can’t help Rosalee from seeming a good-natured airhead, and Duhamel is undoubtedly a hunk, but not asked to be much more than that. (Luketic manages to arrange things so that Duhamel is shirtless as often as possible, something the actor was probably familiar with from his soap-opera days.) The saddest obligation of all falls on Grace, a personable, amusing young fellow here forced to sputter and twitch for ninety minutes in a near-parody of his Eric Forman character on “That ’70s Show.” Grace has a naturally nimble way with lines, but even he can’t sell ones as limp as those he’s provided with here. Cole is nicely laid-back as Rosalee’s dad, but Goodwin, who was one of the more pleasant features of the generally dreadful “Mona Lisa Smile,” overdoes the best-friend spunkiness. Like Luketic’s previous picture, “Tad Hamilton” has a creamily colorful look courtesy of Peter Collister’s bright cinematography, though the pink motif of “Legally Blonde” is lacking here.

In sum, this is one date you’d be wise to turn down. Just say “Bye Bye Tad,” music or no.