Made of Honor
by Laura Tucker
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Made of Honor doesn’t offer up much new from a theme that’s been done many times before, yet nevertheless, watching Patrick Dempsey realize he’s falling for his best friend still makes for a good chick flick.
In a clever use of Bill Clinton masks and Monica Lewinsky berets, playboy Tom (Dempsey), wearing a Bill mask, gets lost at a Cornell University Halloween bash back in 1998 in a sea of Monicas. Trying to find the right Monica upstairs, he instead finds her nerdy roommate, Hannah (Michelle Monaghan), and likes the intellectual challenge she presents as she rebuffs all of his advances.
Moving ahead ten years, Tom and Hannah have built a platonic relationship from that beginning back at Cornell. They spend every Sunday together, as he orders Chinese food that he knows she will like, and she tries to guess what he’ll order at the bakery. She’s clearly carrying a torch for him after all these years, but he’s intent on sleeping with a different woman every night. In fact, he has rules about dating, with one being he can’t ever bed the same woman two nights in a row, and he refuses to call the woman that left him her number on a Starbucks cup for at least 24 hours.
Hannah gets sent to Scotland on business, and while she’s gone, Tom notices life isn’t the same without her. Along with the help of his basketball buddies, he realizes “maybe there’s more to life than just sleeping around.” Intent on sharing this with her when she comes back to the States, he’s crushed to see she’s moved on. Joining her is her new Scottish fiance, a Duke that seemingly can’t do anything wrong, Colin (Kevin McKidd.)
Much of the humor in Made of Honor is provided after Hannah asks Tom to be her maid of honor. After all, he’s her best friend, and she knows if he were ever to get married, as far-fetched as it seems, she would be his best man. He agrees, but only under the guise that it will allow him to keep close tabs on her and her fiancé, trying to change her mind. He and his buddies spend a night preparing baskets for the bridal shower, and he also has to try and get along with the other bridesmaids, one of which can’t stand him after they dated. She asks at the table, “Could someone who’s not a misogynist please pass the Splenda?”
There’s some heart in the movie as well, behind the humor. Despite the fact that Tom has sat by while his father (Sydney Pollack) has married and divorced six times, making prenup deals that revolve around sexual favors, he’s not totally his father’s son. We see Tom’s heart every time a dog is near. The dogs seem to be the only beings he can issue the words “I love you” to, and just that gives us hope that there’s a warm, caring guy in there somewhere.
Romantic comedy seems custom-made for Patrick Dempsey. The heart and humor combine in Made of Honor to create a chick flick that, while rehashing a slightly tired theme, is worth watching.
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