Review by Robert Bell
Made of Honor, the latest "Cyrano de Vagina" Rom-Com to screech its way into multiplexes, seriously overestimates the charm and sex appeal of Patrick "McScrawny" Dempsey. Various Maxim-model-looking women all but flash him labia throughout the film to get him to flip them upside down for a twirl. This is quite a feat for a man who looks so similar to Seymour Butts. No matter how loftily the film is described, there's really no way to mask or ameliorate the very simple one word description of it - which is "bland".
At a college party, Tom (Patrick Dempsey) sneaks away to the darkened room of a young filly for a quick shag. When sneaking into her bed he finds not the intended recipient of his dry humping, but her bookish, bemused roommate Hannah (Michelle Monaghan).
The two strike a bond that stays entirely platonic until Hannah runs off to Scotland for six weeks, leaving Tom at home to realize how much he misses having her around. Upon her return, Tom decides to share his feelings of "amour" only to find that she has met a hunky, well-endowed, distillery owning Duke named Colin (Kevin McKidd), to whom she is engaged. To make matters worse, Hannah has asked Tom to be her maid of honour.
Honor plays like a reverse My Best Friend's Wedding, for the most part, with slightly more profanity and a little less venom. It feels like Barbie's dream world of saccharine, lovey-dovey, "chocolate is a great substitute for sex" crap, created specifically for the Muffin-topped, Dancing with the Stars watching, Michelina low-calorie-single-serving lunch crew. It's Men in Trees without batsh*t Anne Heche babbling on in her own language and offering convoluted explanations for bisexuality. We're all familiar with these films and instinctively know whether or not they're for us. Therefore, it may prove entertaining for a girls' night out when the cougar bar proves to be a bust.
In a twist on the formula, a great deal of effort is exerted throughout to offer a male perspective. While this relatively fresh take could have led to some interesting scenarios, it often feels awkward and bizarre, as the men have entirely expositional conversations and participate in stock basketball and poker games; since men apparently do little else together. This off kilter feeling is really driven home in a locker room scene where the gang instinctually checks out Kevin McKidd's package and then feels compelled to remark on it. Perhaps big winkies are funnier on paper than they are on film.
As far as performances are considered, Patrick Dempsey delivers another routine, uninspired performance, which only becomes interesting when Michelle Monaghan is thrown into the mix. This is unfortunate as Dempsey is in every single scene of this movie, relentlessly squinting and whining. Monaghan is pleasant and likeable; stealing many of the comedic scenes, but offers little beyond that as there isn't much for her to work with.
It is difficult for actors to really elevate material that is so inherently base. For example, there is a scene that involves an 80-year-old woman mistaking glow-in-the-dark butt-beads (is butt-beads the proper vernacular?) for a necklace. She then wears them everywhere, including to the wedding. This, in addition to Sydney Pollack's profuse usage of the P-word, are slightly off-putting and out of place in this fluffy romance.
Adhering to the standard Rom-Com formula, Made of Honor is unlikely to disappoint or surprise the audience it caters to, but features far too much contrivance and insincerity to stand out as anything of significance.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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