The Flick Chicks

Jacqueline Monahan's Movie Reviews

Made Of Honor

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Made Of Honor

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Jacqueline Monahan is an English tutor for the GEAR UP program at UNLV.
She is also a consultant for Columbia College Chicago in Adjunct Faculty Affairs
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If cute, sweet, unimaginative and utterly predictable is what you’re after, Made of Honor delivers right to your door within fifteen minutes of ordering.

Wealthy Manhattan hotshot and chick magnet Tom (Patrick Dempsey) goes through women like pop-up facial tissue. He’s so irresistible that the hapless girls always want more, while Tom only wants to get away.

Tom’s dad, Thomas Sr. (Sydney Pollack) is a rich, serial monogamist, about to wed wife number six, but already well on his way to another divorce and a seventh walk down the aisle. Dad’s ways are not lost on Tom, who has manufactured “rules” about his sexual encounters that are non-negotiable. One is that he can never sleep over at a woman’s house for two consecutive nights, ensuring one night stands for virtually every encounter.

Tom’s best friend Hannah (Michelle Monaghan) is the only woman he’s comfortable with, having met her ten years earlier at college after mistakenly slipping into her bed instead of his intended score for the evening. Tom and Hannah eat off of each other’s dessert plates and know what treats each other should buy at the bakery. Wow, that’s compatible; these two should be life partners. Of course, the audience knows it way ahead of the two people who should, even with this shallow of a premise.

When Hannah leaves for a six-week business trip in Scotland, Tom gets a light bulb after a series of unsatisfying dates where the women can’t choose a treat for him or otherwise fall short by being diverse in thought and action. Tom decides that Hannah’s the one for him and tells his basketball buddies (Kadeem Hardison, Richmond Arquette, Chris Messina) incessantly so that there’s a way for us to know as well.

Meanwhile Hannah meets and becomes engaged to Colin (Kevin McKidd) in a whirlwind, poorly thought out romance. She is after all, approaching thirty – wouldn’t any woman jump at the chance to wed an obscenely wealthy Scotsman who is also a whiskey heir (and endowed with a huge sexual organ, too)?

Tom is the designated “maid of honor” and must host a shower, assist the bride with shopping for lingerie and withstand intimations of being gay from his friends and the Reverend Foote (James Sikking). He takes on the role as a means to be close to Hannah and try to win her back. Fellow bridesmaids (Busy Phillips, Whitney Cummings, Emily Nelson) provide a chubby dieter on a liquid diet, a level-headed, dutiful friend, and a resentful ex of Tom’s who wanted to be maid of honor. Tom throws an elaborate shower for Hannah, including a surprise sex toy demonstration. Hannah is not amused.

Hannah’s mom, Joan, (Kathleen Quinlan) looks on serenely for most of her onscreen time, smiling throughout Hannah’s decisions, good or bad. Grandma Pearl (Selma Stern) wears her glow in the dark “thunder beads” as a necklace.

Colin turns out to be a handsome, rugged Adonis who’s obviously devoted to Hannah. When the American bridal party is transplanted to Scotland, events take on the shimmer of realization, coupled with a few misunderstandings that pave the way for the (hardly) unexpected ending to this fable posing as reality.

The humor can be crude, even cruel. Our first sighting of Hannah at work has her unintentionally simulating an oral act upon the nether regions of a painting’s male subject. There’s a premium on physical beauty, both male and female. One character, referred to as simply Tiny Shorts Guy (Kevin Sussman) is the object of ridicule because of the way he dresses. All he wants is to be one of the guys, yet this type of movie makes it clear that he is undeserving of friendship, much less love. And remember grandma’s thunder beads. Another elderly female relative in Scotland proclaims, “We’re all Athols,” and you wonder if she’s lisping or not.

Patrick Dempsey is just way too cool for his nerdy beginnings (ever see him in Can’t Buy Me Love)? What a 180 this guy’s done; it’s a shame that he chooses to waste his babe-a-licious persona on silly fluff like this. Michelle Monaghan plays down her usual precious expressions to come across as sincere, albeit clueless. Kevin McKidd looks confused throughout his performance.

Kadeem Hardison, known for years as Dwayne Wayne on A Different World and James Sikking, Lt. Howard Hunter from Hill Street Blues provide moments of recognition which break the tedium of well worn path the audience travels for its inevitable resolution. Adding to the “whatever happened to…” roster is the appearance of Kathleen Quinlan, whose calm demeanor adds a bit of badly needed wisdom into the lunacy.

At 74, Sydney Pollack is as popular in front of the camera as he is behind it. It would be a shame for someone at his level of accomplishment to end his career with frivolous, throwaway portrayals like this.

Director Paul Weiland (City Slickers II, Leonard Part 6) has settled for a predictable, uninspired puff piece, with cheap laughs and one dimensional supporting characters.

I suppose this type of film is beneficial for folks who are into escapism, because they will never encounter these contrived events in real life. I suppose such modern fairytales are appreciated and sought after. Whatever floats your boat; I’m sailing mine for deeper waters.