MADE OF HONOUR
Tom (Patrick Dempsey) thrives on having fun with a different girl on his arm every night. Hannah (Michelle Monaghan) is different. She is his best friend and the one constant in his life. When Hannah goes to Scotland on a six-week business trip, Tom realises his life is empty without and decides when she returns, he'll ask her to marry him. But their reunion is not what he expects, as Hannah introduces him to handsome, wealthy Scotsman Colin McMurray (Kevin McKidd) to whom she has become engaged. When Hannah asks Tom to be her "Maid" of Honour, he reluctantly agrees so he can attempt to woo Hannah and stop the wedding before it's too late.
Review by Louise Keller:
This frothy rom-com that acts as a vehicle for tv sex symbol Patrick Dempsey is at its best in the wilds of remote Scotland, when Dempsey's New York serial womaniser Tom is out of his element. I laughed a few times, but overall was disappointed because nothing felt real. Not the characters, their relationships nor their actions. Consequently how could we care about a central relationship in which we could not believe? It also bothered me that we seem to be laughing AT the characters instead of WITH them. Dempsey, however has appeal, as does Michelle Monaghan, despite the superficial level at which her Hannah is written.
The film starts badly when Dempsey's aptly-named Tom (toting a grotesque Bill Clinton mask) caresses a cigar suggestively as he searches for his Monica. Things do improve, although this opening scene does little to allow us to understand his platonic best friend status with Hannah. Tom is a man's man who kids himself that honesty is the best rule, but his own rules limit themselves to multiple sex partners. He seems only able to say 'I love you' to unknown dogs who occasionally cross his path and the laughs come cheaply - sex toys for unsuspecting Grandma, gay jokes, naked man in shower. When Kevin McKidd's Colin McMurray is introduced as Hannah's intended, the three script writers cough up every conceivable Scottish joke - from haggis, kilts, bagpipes to the traditional highland games like tree throwing, bird's nest hairdos and an intense relative who suggests (in broad Scottish brogue) calling their firstborn 'Athol'. (Try saying it out loud.)
The Scottish locations, with its imposing castles, verdant pastures and mountain ranges that form a mystical blue outline on the far horizon are truly stunning, as we discover when the bridal party uproots from New York for the happy occasion. Every time Tom and friends attempt to discredit the Scottish bride-groom to be, something impressive is discovered, like his title, his four castle homes (one for each season), and the family's massive whisky distillery. Will he or won't he is the question we ask, as to whether or not Tom's Made of Honour will divulge his true feelings to Hannah. It's a no brainer of course. After all, this is Hollywood and the target market is the female audience whose hearts go pitter pat for Dempsey. I just wished the journey had been more fun.
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MADE OF HONOUR (M)
CAST: Michelle Monaghan, Patrick Dempsey, Kevin McKidd, Kelly Carlson, Busy Philipps, Sydney Pollack, Kathleen Quinlan
PRODUCER: Neal H. Moritz
DIRECTOR: Paul Weiland
SCRIPT: Adam Sztykiel, Deborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Tony Pierce-Roberts
EDITOR: Richard Marks
MUSIC: Rupert Gregson-Williams
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Kalina Ivanov
RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Sony Pictures
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: May 1, 2008