Made of Honor
dir Paul Weiland
scr Adam Sztykiel, Deborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont
with Patrick Dempsey, Michelle Monaghan, Kevin McKidd, Sydney Pollack, Kathleen Quinlan, Kadeem Hardison, Chris Messina, Kevin Sussman, Busy Philipps, Emily Nelson, Whitney Cummings, James Sikking
release US/UK 2.May.08
08/US Columbia 1h41
Made of Honor
A man in a woman's world: Dempsey

monaghan mckidd pollack
R E V I E W    B Y    R I C H    C L I N E
Made of Honor While it's slickly made and just about charming enough to keep us engaged, there's not much that's fresh or new in this formulaic rom-com, besides finding another way to recycle virtually every cliché of the genre.

After an embarrassing accidental meeting at university, Tom and Hannah (Dempsey and Monaghan) have been best buddies for 10 years, which allows Tom to pursue a string of women while Hannah builds her career. But when her job requires her to travel to Scotland for a few weeks, Tom misses her horribly, realising he might be ready to finally settle down. But she comes back with a Scottish fiancé (McKidd), who seems to be Mr Perfect; that is, he's even more stinking rich than Tom is. And Hannah asks Tom to be her maid of honour.

Fortunately, Dempsey is likeable enough to keep us watching, even though Tom's a lout. At least Dempsey's self-aware enough to play the scenes lightly. And it's enjoyable to watch his interaction with two gangs: his buddies (Hardison, Messina, Sussman) and the bridesmaids (Philipps, Nelson and Cummings). But it's a shame that not one of the other characters are developed at all.

Poor Monaghan has a strangely thankless role fluttering around the edge of the film, while McKidd has it even worse. Veterans like Pollack (as Tom's womanising dad) and Quinlan (as Hannah's perceptive mum) have nothing to do at all. All that's left is a series of half-baked Meet the Parents-style gags involving Dempsey being a man in a woman's world, and then forced to be a woman in a man's world by wearing a micro mini-kilt for a bit of Highland sport.

Yes, this film is pure girly fantasy, in which the wealthy, gorgeous, well-adjusted, lesson-learned man who could have any woman he wants decides to pick you, his closest friend. Fortunately, Weiland's direction is sharp and quick enough to keep us watching, even as the script becomes a real slog, finally resorting to the only clichˇ that's even more tired than the race to the airport. Sure, it's sweet enough to keep the target audience happy, but that's about it.

cert 12 themes, language, innuendo 17.Apr.08

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© 2008 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall