Made of Honor


Patrick Dempsey as Tom
Michelle Monaghan as Hannah
Kevin McKidd as Colin McMurray
Kadeem Hardison as Felix
Chris Messina as Dennis
Richmond Arquette as Gary
Busy Philipps as Melissa
Whitney Cummings as Stephanie
Emily Nelson as Hilary
Kathleen Quinlan as Joan
Selma Stern as Grandma Pearl
Sydney Pollack as Thomas Sr.
James Sikking as Reverend Foote
Kevin Sussman as Tiny Shorts Guy

Tom (Patrick Dempsey) is your typical romantic comedy bachelor – a womanizer with means and charm but not much depth, or any desire to achieve any. He balances his flaws, which he’s just self-aware enough to admit he has, with his friendship to Hanna, a vivacious art historian who’s smart enough not to fall for Tom. When Hannah leaves for a business trip to Scotland, Tom finally notices how empty his life is without her…

…and I’m not going to bother finishing the rest of that synopsis because if you’ve seen even one other romantic comedy in your life then you can probably fill in the blanks just as well as I can. Suffice it to say, exactly what you think happens, happens. There is nothing, nothing, nothing original about “Made of Honor.”

Which doesn’t necessarily have to be the kiss of death for a film, but it doesn’t help. An extremely charismatic actor or particularly sharp jokes can help a lot, even if the setup is trite and predictable, but “Made of Honor” doesn’t have that either. To be fair, any decently sized film is going to have a number of hands in the pot from the studio executives on down, and that normally isn’t good for much except steering a film towards extreme middle-of-the-roadness. On the other hand, it was made by the creators of “City Slickers II” and “Surviving Christmas,” so that may be giving it a greater benefit of the doubt than it deserves.

Tom is the kind of smart, charming, likeable ladies man Dempsey has been playing pretty much his entire career. Given that, it’s strange just how unlikeable Tom is, though that’s not really his fault, he’s making the best of what he’s been given, an extremely self-obsessed man who’s gotten a great deal without much effort, and so doesn’t really appreciate anything. It’s actually a bit of a mystery why Hannah, or anyone really, would be at all interested in him, once they realize how shallow he is.

No one else gets much better. Monaghan and McKidd get stuck with the typical romantic comedy supporting player assignment of being almost unbelievably oblivious to what’s going on around them. Their character reactions, it seems, aren’t really supposed to matter, they’re just there to set up and pay off the jokes, which unfortunately aren’t particularly funny.

“Made of Honor’s” sense of humor is probably the film’s weakest, and strangest point. It bounces off the walls in several opposite directions, sometimes in rather straightforward gentle romantic comedy bits, and sometimes in extremely puerile gags. It boggles the mind who the filmmakers were actually making the film for. Because the main character is a man the filmmakers seem to think the best way to go with him is low-brow, guy-oriented humor, but because he’s not in the kind of movie that really supports that kind of thing, it has to repeatedly switch track, and the sudden changes in tone are more than a little off-putting.

The idea seems to be to build up Tom as a man’s man, in order to get more mileage out of the overdone gender confusion gags once he becomes Hannah’s maid of honor, but it doesn’t work particularly well. Tom and all his guy friends being forced to prepare Hannah’s bridal shower is kind of chuckle-worthy, but the joke is quickly driven into the ground.

It’s not funny, and it’s a little schizophrenic. In trying to make “Made of Honor” appeal to as many people as possible, the filmmakers have ended up with a film that doesn’t really appeal to anyone.