Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.
USA/United Kingdom, 2008. , Relativity Media, Original Film. Story by Adam Sztykiel, Screenplay by Adam Sztykiel, Deborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont. Cinematography by Tony Pierce-Roberts. Produced by Neal H. Moritz. Music by Rupert Gregson-Williams. Production Design by Kalina Ivanov. Costume Design by Penny Rose. Film Editing by Richard Marks.
No one can feel cheated when they watch a romantic comedy that is predictable and formulaic; these movies are like fast food, you know what you’re going to get and you’re either in the mood for it or you aren’t. That said, the best in the genre manage to include enough wit, sensitivity and spontaneity to fool even the most cynical of audiences into believing that circumstances might prevent truly deserving lovers from becoming each others’ mate…and then there are movies like Made Of Honor. Patrick Dempsey plays a wealthy entrepreneur (he invented the cup sleeves that keep you from burning your hand at Starbucks) who plays the field with the ladies, only enjoying their company for sex and never dating them, the rest of the time hanging out with his best friend Michelle Monaghan. When she goes away on a business trip to Scotland, he has an epiphany and realizes that she might be the one for him, and that continuing his life as a playboy would be meaningless. Trouble is, she comes home engaged to a Scottish Duke (Kevin McKidd) and asks him to stand up for her at her wedding in two weeks. The logistical errors made to allow for the ridiculous situations that occur are too numerous to bother with, not to mention the character stereotypes that often border on the offensive (to intelligence if not taste), but what really makes this one fizzle is the lack of opportunity taken in enjoying the premise. One quick scene of Dempsey having to put together gift baskets for Monaghan’s bridal shower isn’t enough to say that the writers have mined the comedic possibilities of a New York bachelor being a bridesmaid; the film could have been a really funny exploration of what would happen if a womanizer was forced to endure the most annoying ways that women find to entertain themselves. It doesn’t seem as bad as it is thanks to Dempsey’s breezy charm and Monaghan’s terrific acting, but then you see the wedding climax involving a violent horse and a dirty-mouthed, incomprehensible Scottish aunt and you realize it’s just pure garbage.