Reviewed by: Mia J. Best
“Freedom Writers,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Scream 3”
“Mission: Impossible III,” “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”
Kelly Carlson, Kevin McKidd, Busy Philipps, Sydney Pollack, Kathleen Quinlan, Sarah Mason, Beau Garrett, Kadeem Hardison, Jaime Ray Newman, Christine Barger, Chris Messina, Veronica Alicino, Mary Birdsong, James Sikking, Rab Affleck, Kevin Sussman, [more]
“Mr. Bean,” “City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold”
|Producer:||Callum Greene, Aaron Kaplan, Tania Landau, Amanda Cohen, Neal H. Moritz, Sean Perrone|
|Distributor:||Sony Pictures Entertainment|
“He’ll do anything to get the groom out of the picture. / It takes a real man to become a maid of honor.”
Patrick Dempsey is poised to be a great leading man in movies, just not with this predictable and too often crass romantic comedy, “Made of Honor.” Dempsey plays Tom, a rich, convertible-driving playboy who treats women like recreational toys—all women except his best friend, Hannah (Michelle Monaghan), with whom he has his only meaningful relationship. The film opens with Tom and Hannah meeting in college, when he jumps into bed with her, thinking she was her roommate. The fact that Hannah has the will to resist his charms (at least initially) and insults him under the guise of “being honest” intrigues Tom, and they become friends.
The story continues 10 years later, and nothing has changed for Tom. He fills his days meeting women, playing basketball with his buddies and hanging out with Hannah. True to romantic comedy form, once Hannah travels to Scotland for six weeks, Tom realizes how empty his life is without her and plans to tell her as soon as she returns. But before he can tell her how he feels, Hannah introduces Colin McMurray (Kevin McKidd), a Scottish Prince Charming, as her fiancé. As if that weren’t enough of a blow to his ego, Hannah asks Tom to be her “Maid of Honor.”
“Made of Honor” has the framework for a solid romantic comedy and will draw comparisons to “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” but falls short in character development. Like Julia Roberts’ character in “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” Tom’s goal is to sabotage the wedding from within. The comedy of a male maid of honor rests mostly with obvious jokes about Tom being assumed gay and substituting poker night with making gift baskets.
The film missed an opportunity to provide more insight into Hannah’s character. I wondered why Hannah, an otherwise intelligent, successful and beautiful woman, would sustain friendship with a man who treats women as objects. I also wondered why Hannah, after being overlooked by Tom for 10 years, would invite him to be her “maid of honor.” Hannah says it is because they are best friends. I thought of two other possible reasons that would have been interesting plot thickeners— (1) after being the perfect friend to Tom and never considered as a romantic interest, Hannah wants to show Tom that she is indeed an eligible woman who is desired by a quality man. Or (2) after a whirlwind romance, Hannah is not sure about how deep her love for Colin really is and secretly is still hoping that Tom will step up and save her from the mess she knows she is about to get herself into. But if Tom won’t stop her, she is willing to consign herself to marrying a man she barely knows, just so she won’t be alone.
But this movie wasn’t really about Hannah’s character. Michelle Monaghan did a fine job as Hannah, but the role seemed a bit generic. The main focus was Tom. However, not giving Tom any credibility or respectability early in the film limited the emotional connection that the audience could make with his character when he tried to change for Hannah. Nevertheless, Patrick Dempsey is such a good actor that his performance brought more complexity and likeability to the character than the script called for.
Since Tom’s character is a playboy, promiscuity and sexuality are prominent themes in this movie. Most references both verbal and visual to sexual relations are outside of marriage. In one scene, Hannah models sexy lingerie for Tom. Several characters mock marriage, and few characters extol its virtues. Sexual innuendo, slang references to female genitalia and profanity were used throughout the film.
The film does bring out that a consequence of Tom’s promiscuity could keep him from a relationship with Hannah. It also has Tom suffer some embarrassment at the hands of one of his jilted lovers. The Bible points out another consequence in 1 Corinthians 6:18, that sexual sin violates the sacredness of our own bodies.
The Message translation of 1 Corinthians 6:16-17 provides further insight.
“There's more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, ‘The two become one.’ Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never ‘become one’.”
“Made of Honor” reinforces the idea that women are waiting to meet a prince who will sweep them off their feet with grand romantic gestures. Cinematography added to the romance and was often poetic, capturing Central Park’s Bow Bridge and a castle with a moonlit sky in “Scotland” (actually filmed in the UK). It also reinforces the world concept of true love determined by feelings and often a series of circumstances considered signs. The Bible describes true love in John 3:16 “for God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son…” and again in John 15:13…
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
I cannot recommend “Made of Honor” due to the misuse of sexuality, sexual innuendo and profanity.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.