Sunday, May 4, 2008

"Made of Honor": A Movie Review

I went to see “Made of Honor” not because I find Patrick Dempsey oh so dreamy, but because it looked like a cute rom-com that would inspire and nurture my inner hopeless romantic. I’m a sucker for sappy, New York-based movies that promises pretty dresses, squishy confessions of love and flowers in bloom. Unfortunately, “Made of Honor” is a mindless fluff of a romantic comedy that would have come dangerously close to plagiarizing the plot from my Julia Robert’s “My Best Friend’s Wedding” if they had lifted any of the endearing moments, acts of sheer desperation or chemistry between co-stars that made the 1997 vehicle such a success.

Patrick Dempsey plays Tom, the inventor of the coffee collar, who is now ridiculously rich and has nothing to do but drive his cool cars around Times Sqaure, bed gorgeous women, and create ridiculous rules for his one-night stands for no explained reason. Although I’m sure it stems from his father’s never-ending string of marriages and divorces. Michelle Monaghan played Hannah, Tom’s supposed best friend. As we’ve seen in the trailers for the movie, Tom thinks he has the “perfect set-up” because he can sleep with beautiful women at night and spend his free time with Hannah during the day as they have done since they first met in college.

When Hannah, a restoration artist, leaves for six weeks to go to Scotland, it is only in her absence, that Tom realizes how much Hannah means to him and how much he actually loves her, which is something he could only say to bitches of the canine variety. Hannah comes back engaged to a Scottish Duke, and she asks Tom to be her Maid of Honor for a destination wedding in just a fortnight.

The entire idea of a man being a bridesmaid could have triggered thousands of stereotypical gay jokes because of most men’s intrinsic homophobia, but thankfully the movie handled that aspect with an open-minded sophistication that made for a lot of smart laughs. Dempsey, who has built a career on being the sensitive, sexy metrosexual, can hold his own in a scene with five other women, but also exudes some well-groomed masculinity that people won’t see in “Grey’s Anatomy.”

All is fair in love and war, but Dempsey’s Tom never got the memo as he never played dirty to stop the wedding. He agreed to become the MOH in order to “destroy the wedding from the inside out”, but he never really did anything that crazy to sabotage a marriage that was obviously based on purely on physical attraction and nothing more. In “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” Julia’s desperation over losing her best friend and the love of her life made her do absolutely terrible things, like almost ruining her best friend’s career, in order to keep Michael (Dermot Mulroney) from marrying Kimmie (Cameron Diaz).

I felt the chemistry was a bit lacking between the two stars, and that probably stemmed from the fact that they look more like siblings than lovers, and not because they are bad actors. The screenwriters also make Hannah’s betroved seem perfect in the beginning, but then tear him down by time they reach the vivid green of Scotland, which weakens the entire idea while saving Dempsey from looking like a backstabbing, selfish schmuck for ruining his best friend’s wedding.
Ultimately, “Made of Honor” was really made as yet another vehicle for Patrick Dempsey, who’s careening towards overexposure, and lacked the drama and yearning of its girl-centered predecessor. “Made of Honor” is, however, a good way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

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