Made of Honor (Sony Pictures, PG-13)

moh.jpegIn fact, the filmmakers didn’t take anything good very far. They make a big deal of Tom and his basketball buddies deciding that he’s going to “steal the bride” by being the best maid of honor ever. Can you guess what Tom does then?

 

 

 

 

 

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It is indeed true that you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Tom (Patrick Dempsey) is about to learn this from personal experience.

Tom has the perfect life. He’s independently wealthy, sleeps with a myriad of beautiful women and then hangs out with his best friend Hannah (Michelle Monaghan). See, he gets the best of both worlds. Tom can live the life of a man-whore bachelor and still enjoy the benefits of a female confidant like a man in a committed relationship. And he loves it. Until, that is, Hannah leaves on a six-week business trip to Scotland.

Without his best buddy, Tom is at a loss. He tries subbing in his various lady friends for Hannah, but it’s no use (they’re perfectly good for sex, but they can’t finish his sentences or pick which dessert he’s going to order like Hannah can). After a few weeks without her, Tom realizes that maybe Hannah should be more than just a friend. He plans to tell her just that when she comes home, but Hannah has a surprise that stops Tom in his tracks.

I don’t really need to tell you anything else about Made of Honor. If you’ve seen any of Hollywood’s standard romantic comedies you can figure out what happens next and who it happens to and why it happens. Honestly, that’s exactly what I was expecting. But, what I was hoping for is that at least the stale rom-com formula would be well presented. Sadly, it really wasn’t.

Of course, once Tom’s guy friends hear he’s been named “maid of honor,” they make glorious fun of it. Even though we know how easy it would have been for Hannah to call him, I don’t know, her man of honor, maybe. And everyone who doesn’t already know Tom assumes he must be gay. I’m unbelievably grateful that the filmmakers didn’t take that joke too far.

In fact, the filmmakers didn’t take anything good very far. They make a big deal of Tom and his basketball buddies deciding that he’s going to “steal the bride” by being the best maid of honor ever. Can you guess what Tom does then? Nothing. He follows Hannah around for a couple of days helping her talk to the minister and pick out wedding night lingerie, but that’s it. He doesn’t try to tell her how he feels or make any grand plans to undermine the wedding. I suppose the filmmakers thought this approach was interesting, but the effect was actually the opposite. The story got less funny the closer we got to the wedding.

The minor subplots also bog down the film. Tom and his buddies have a nerdy hanger-on at the gym who tries to insinuate himself into their games. He wears goofy glasses and shorts that are way too short and it’s not even remotely funny. Melissa (Busy Philipps), Hannah’s best female friend since childhood, is pissed at not being chosen for MOH (maid of honor) duties, especially since she and Tom had a dalliance that went badly (for her). Melissa tries to sabotage Tom’s efforts, which means that she doesn’t really care about her supposed best friend that much.

Dempsey and Monaghan look great together, and they even manage to make us believe that they’re close enough in age to have been in college at the same time. Dempsey has officially arrived at a George Clooney-ish level of leading manness. Suddenly he’s the guy that every red-blooded woman wants, and thoughts of the little geek from Can’t Buy Me Love never enter anyone’s mind. | Adrienne Jones

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