For “Made of Honor,” director Paul Weiland follows a sure-fire recipe for romantic comedy success: a love triangle, sexual innuendo at every twist and turn, comedic relief at the perfect moments and of course, Patrick Dempsey without a shirt on for what seems to be the majority of the movie.
Boasting the basic story line of “My Best Friend’s Wedding” with a gender reversal, we are introduced to Tom (Dempsey), a charismatic, wealthy and beyond-belief gorgeous New Yorker. His longtime friend, Hannah (Michelle Monaghan), is a sophisticated woman, an art historian at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and his confidante. She’s also the one woman Tom doesn’t subject to his detailed and misogynistic dating “rules” (i.e. no consecutive sleepovers on weekdays, and no family events because “it gives the wrong impression”).
The two friends met at Cornell University, when Tom accidentally crawled into bed with Hannah, thinking she was her “promiscuous” roommate. He admired her candor and she gave him a chance, and almost a decade later, when the movie takes place, their friendship is still strong, based on honesty and a shared spectrum of intelligence.
Tom’s life seems to be charmed, and while he truly cares for Hannah, he often takes her for granted. He has women falling all over him on the streets of New York City, but Hannah is his antiques shopping partner, a friend to laugh with, and the only woman he would bring to attend his father’s sixth wedding.
And then Hannah breaks the news to him. She will be in Scotland for six weeks on business.
While Hannah’s away, it’s epiphany time for Tom, who realizes he has feelings for her and decides to tell her when she returns from Scotland.
Punctuated by missed phone calls and transcontinental static, Tom and Hannah don’t really have a conversation after her departure overseas. Upon her return she invites him out to dinner, where she promptly introduces him to her fiance Colin McMurray (Kevin McKidd), a Scottish duke who absolutely adores her. Hilarity ensues when she asks a stunned Tom to be her maid of honor.
As Tom plans the bridal shower and arranges for dress fitting and the like, Hannah, played eloquently if not slightly dryly by Monaghan, exudes a sense of nostalgia.
The most intriguing aspect of the movie is the relationship between Tom and all his male friends. As they conspire and scheme to “steal the bride,” a softer side of comraderie and helping a friend in need comes through that makes the audience wonder, can men really have these type of relationships?
No doubt the storyline is predictable, but “Made of Honor” is a funny, easygoing, and a downright pure entertainment movie. If you aren’t a McDreamy addict or a lovesick sap, this might just be another boring romantic comedy that you’ve already seen a thousand times. But romantics will definitely feel a moment or two tugging at their heartstrings and maybe their tear ducts.