Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Made Of Honor is yet another formulaic Hollywood romantic comedy. But this one has the special distinction of being what amounts to a juvenile rehash of a nineties hit movie. A strong cast brings some hope to the film, but it just isn’t enough to wash the taste of unwelcome familiarity away.
Tom and Hannah have been best friends for a decade. Tom is a womanizer who keeps an emotional distance from all the women he dates, but has a real connection with Hannah. When Hannah goes on a trip to Scotland for six weeks, Tom realizes that he is actually in love with Hannah, and resolves to tell her when she comes back. But she returns with Colin, who she’s fallen madly in love with, and is set to marry her in two weeks. To make things worse, she asks Tom to be her maid of honor. Tom, thinking that he can find a way to break up the marriage from within, takes the job.
The film is basically My Best Friend’s Wedding with a guy, no gay friend, and far less emotional maturity. In fact, forget “basically,” because that’s exactly what it is. It’s pretty much the same story with the gender roles reversed and the emotional content watered down to a completely juvenile level. The script makes no room for any sort of complexity: characters are so flat and cliché that you don’t need more than two words to describe any of them. They adhere so closely to the romantic-comedy formula that nothing they do ever surprises you.
The filmmakers try very hard to make the film visually interesting. They get a leg up while shooting in Scotland, where the majestic views make for some breathtaking cinema. Scotland aside, however, the film features some truly goofy cinematography. The filmmakers seem afraid to let a scene speak for itself, often injecting their film with a needlessly complicated shot. An easy establishing shot is inexplicably shot through a revolving door. A shot of Dempsey going down the stairs is treated with a weird rotating tracking shot. And if that doesn’t take you out of it, the film’s cheesy use of music certainly will.
If the film has a saving grace, it’s the cast. Patrick Dempsey certainly knows his niche, and he does it pretty well. Michelle Monaghan is incredibly beautiful and doubly talented. It’s easy to fall in love with her, and that’s pretty much all you need in a romantic comedy. Kevin McKidd doesn’t really have much of a character to play with, but he’s pretty convincing as “the perfect guy.” The late Sydney Pollack shows up in the film, and the little bit he’s given is some of the best acting in the film.
Made of Honor just feels unnecessary. When you come right down to it, it’s just a weaker, more formulaic version of My Best Friend’s Wedding. That film already has its own flaws, but it at least offered a few surprises along the way. Made of Honor offers nothing of the sort. To recommend a completely inferior version of that film seems inconceivable to me. While Made of Honor is stacked with talent, it just can’t get past how unoriginal and uninspired the whole thing is.