Monday, January 4, 2010

Leads make overly familiar "Honor" pleasant-enough

Made of Honor (2008)
101 min., rated PG-13
Grade: C +

Correct me if i'm wrong, but did we not already go down the aisle with Made of Honor in 1997 when it was called My Best Friend's Wedding?

Something borrowed, something lost: make a gender reversal, cast McStudmuffin Patrick Dempsey in the Julia Roberts best-friend role because he's steamy in TV's “Grey's Anatomy,” and there you have Made of Honor, a nice, cookie-cutter recycling.

After a Halloween party that has a womanizing college-senior Casanova (Dempsey) dressed as Bill Clinton in search of "Monica" and ends up crawling in bed with her smart roommate (Michelle Monaghan, charming in whatever she does), the two somehow become best friends for ten years. He has womanizing "rules" where he mustn't date a chick in the same week and she's off to Scotland for six weeks on business, but when she brings back a duke to marry, Dempsey is asked to be her maid of honor.

Any guess of who gets jealous, realizes he has feelings for her, and wants to sabotage the wedding? Anyone?

And no, it's not Sydney Pollack (in his swan song), who gets some guilty laughs as Dempsey's serial-marrying dad.

The appealing Dempsey and Monaghan keep this hoary script afloat; he, no longer that geek from Can't Buy Me Love, has charisma and she brings forth ease and grace to the material. Unfortunately, Dempsey's caddish M.O.H. is too much of a jerk to see him get what he wants.

In the comedy department, we get Dempsey doing slapsticky pratfalls in a restaurant twice and the bride's grandmom mistakenly wearing glow-in-the-dark anal beads for a pearl necklace.

Romantic-comedies rely on formula, sure, but there will only be surprises to those who've never seen a romantic comedy in their movie-going lifetime.

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