– Summary –
Director : Paul Weiland
Year Of Release : 2008
Principal Cast : Patrick Dempsey, Michelle Monaghan, Kevin McKidd, Kathleen Quinlan, Sydney Pollack, Chris Messina, Kadeem Hardison, Richmond Arquette, Busy Phillips, Whitney Cummings.
Approx Running Time : 101 Minutes
Synopsis: When his best female friend becomes engaged to another man, it’s up to one wealthy executive to win her back.
What we think : Derivative, by-the-numbers romantic comedy is somewhat engaging thanks to the chemistry between Dempsey and Monaghan, but that’s about it. For rainy, lazy days on the couch only.
When you sit down to watch a film, especially a film one could easily regard as a “chick flick”, you regard the title of the film as a reasonably good indicator of what you’re likely to witness. Made of Honor, sounding suspiciously like an army film or a school football film, is a fairly fluffy and predictable romcom with the appeal of McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey) and the delightful Michelle Monaghan. It’s a romantic comedy with liberal helpings of romantic-ness, but a little less of the comedy. There are funny moments, don’t get me wrong, and the Hen’s Night scene in particular is a scream, but most of this kind of thing has been done before, in one form or another, and I got the strange sense of been-there-done-that while watching. I did laugh a bit, as my wife will probably attest, but in the cold hard light of day later on, I wasn’t overly impressed.
Dempsey stars as Tom, a male slut sleeping his way through the female species, who happens to be friends with Hannah, a young girl he met by chance in college. When Hannah returns from Scotland with a fiancee in tow, Tom starts to realise that he actually loves Hannah, and more than just as somebody he hasn’t slept with yet. Hannah asks him, since he’s her best friend (why?) to be her maid of honor. Yep, it’s a clever play on the position, inherent in the title.
So, you can kind of guess what’s going to happen. The Man will try and break up the Happy Couple, by using subterfuge, then outright stupidity, before realizing he’s been going about it the wrong way, and then proceeds to show the Girl just how bad a choice she’s making, and she’ll hopefully run into his arms. There’s the obligatory Mother who knows whats really going on, and isn’t stupid. The In-Laws, none of whom really understand each other but who smile and nod, smile and nod. There’s the old grandmother who mistakes sex toys for jewellery (true) and a bridesmaid who’s jealous of not being the Maid of Honor. There’s also a Dorky Guy who is useless at everything but still tries. Yep, all the ingredients for a fairly formulaic film are present, and director Paul Weiland has stirred, heated and presented as the recipe has said.
This is the kind of fluff Hollywood has been putting out for the better part of a century, and while it still appeals to the girls who squeal every time McDreamy appears on Grey’s Anatomy, it’s less likely to do so for everybody else. The script is like a comedy-lite version of Friends, with a hint of Two and a Half Men thrown in. Dempsey never really pulls off the slutty man-ho he’s supposed to be, and it hamstrings the dynamic between him and Monaghan. Monaghan is as splendid as she was in MI3 with The Cruiser, and hopefully we’ll see plenty more from her in the years to come. She’s already been in some biggies (Mr & Mrs Smith, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Constantine, The Bourne Supremacy, and most recently in the thriller Eagle Eye) so this will only be a mild aberration on her career path to greatness. Why her character even bothered to get to know Dempsey’s in the first place is a big question for me, but then, this is a romcom and little idiosyncrasies like that tend to be overlooked for the sake of the story.
The rest of the cast, including a barely there and criminally underused (but surprisingly busty) Kathleen Quinlan rate only a flicker of a mention, mainly as the focus is firmly on the two stars: they do what’s required but very little else. Sub-plots remain unresolved at the end of the film, however, and this can be quite frustrating for somebody hoping for a complete story…. You have to contend with the absurdity of the scenario and that leaves little room for anything else.
Ultimately, I was happy with Made of Honor, if only for the frivolous 90-odd minutes it took to watch weren’t the most excruciating lost moments of my life: you can do better as far as entertainment, but if you must watch this, then you’ll most likely enjoy it. It’s enjoyable without being memorable.