- Rated PG-13
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All photos © Sony Pictures
Reviewed by Jason Zingale
he summer movie season may officially be upon us, but you wouldn’t know it with flaky rom-coms like “Made of Honor” still showing up on the release schedule. There’s a time and place for chick flicks, and with the exception of the upcoming “Sex & the City” movie, the blockbuster-driven months of summer aren’t it. In fact, there’s very little incentive in pitting your film against one of the season’s biggest heavyweights (“Iron Man”) unless you’re looking for a place to quietly dump it. A similar tactic was employed last year when the equally terrible “Lucky You” opened against “Spider-Man 3,” and while “Made of Honor” isn’t exactly going to roll over and play dead (it’s poised to become the official choice of the Mother’s Day crowd, after all), the Patrick Dempsey vehicle has far too many factors working against it to succeed.
The “Grey’s Anatomy” star plays Tom, a womanizing “emotional retard” who lives his bachelor lifestyle by a series of strict rules. A self-made millionaire thanks to his invention of the coffee sleeve, Tom spends his nights sleeping with random women and his days hanging out with best friend Hannah (Michelle Monaghan), an art curator whom he met in college ten years prior. When Hannah leaves for a six-week business trip to Scotland, however, Tom’s true feelings for her begin to surface – only to discover that she’s returned newly engaged. The man in question (Kevin McKidd) is flawless, so when Hannah asks Tom to be her maid of honor, he exploits his position from the inside to stop the wedding by any means necessary.
If this sounds like a tragically unfunny retread of “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” it’s because “Made of Honor” is the exact same movie, beat for beat, with the only difference being that the gender roles have been flipped. This presents a serious problem to the wedding movie formula, because while a woman can certainly fulfill her duties as a best man without looking like a tomboy or lesbian, Dempsey’s character is forced to embrace his inner metrosexual (and thus be on the receiving end of a flurry of gay jokes) all while retaining his reputation as a womanizing bachelor. The script demands far too much of him – not only is Tom successful, charming and irresistible, but he can also competently plan an overseas wedding in just two weeks? – when in reality, that man would never exist.
Patrick Dempsey is actually perfect for this sort of chick flick fluff, but that doesn’t make watching him go through the motions any less agonizing. He’s better off just sticking to his day job on “Grey’s Anatomy” where he plays the same character with a little more tact. Michelle Monaghan, on the other hand, should really be aiming higher these days, while Kevin McKidd is wasted in a role that gives him little room to shine. In fact, it seems like the only reason any of these actors signed on to the film was for the chance to spend a few months filming in Scotland.
Unfortunately, the overseas finale is more disastrous than the preceding 70 minutes. Between the ridiculous inclusion of a Highland Games competition and a series of recurring jokes about Scottish accents and sex toys used as jewelry, “Made of Honor” only becomes more farcical, proving that just because you use a good movie as a blueprint doesn’t necessarily mean that yours will be any good.