Monday, 23 March 2009

Made of Honor

Lowdown: A dude performing bridesmaid duties tries to break a marriage down from the inside.
Patrick Dempsey seems to be the current George Clooney. That is, a manly man with much women targeted appeal making the transition from an E/R like TV series into the big screen. On his way to to Mecca Dempsey managed to disenchant me in Enchanted; in Made of Honor he does a bit better but makes it clear there is still a lot of room for improvement if he wants to become more than just a pretty face doing chick flicks (not that there's anything wrong with that, at least money wise).
This time around, Dempsey plays the bloke in his thirties that failed to mature. A womanizer that scores so easily it hurts, he fails to see the true love of his life is right in front of him and has been right in front of him since college in the shape of his best platonic friend, the ever charming Michelle Monaghan. Things change when Monaghan is sent for a six week work assignment in Scotland as through her absence Dempsey suddenly realizes how big a fool he was. He sets his mind on proposing upon her return, only that he's in for a surprise she breaks the news of her upcoming marriage to a Scottish guy of noble origins she met when he came Mr Darcy like on a horse to save her as she was stuck in Scottish mud. Being that Dempsey is her best friend, she appoints him to be her bridesmaid, which gives Dempsey the opportunity to break the marriage off from the inside but also annoys Monaghan's girlfriends who have aspired for the job. Wow, what a solid foundation for a movie!
Will Dempsey make it? Suffice it to say that horses play a significant role in Made of Honor.
There is not much else going for Made of Honor, though. It is a pretty standard Hollywood made romantic comedy, which means it's predictable, features lots of things that don't make sense, designed to be cute and inoffensive, and is full of cliches (the film's classic Scotland cliche jokes utilize every weapon in the arsenal). That said, Made of Honor is never really boring and has this sense of charm to it that kept me lightly entertained till its stupidly cliche/predictable ending.
I attribute a lot of the film's positive charms to Monaghan, who seems way too good an actress to be wasted on pretty face chick roles. Which brings me to ask, why isn't Hollywood providing more quality roles for women instead of going along with the chauvinistic lines we are all made to take for granted? Why is it, really, that a woman's wedding day is preached by everyone to be the most important day in her life when it clearly isn't (I would put dying miles in front for a start)? I guess what I'm trying to say is that Made of Honor sticks to conservative social conventions all the way and never tries to make us think or question.
Well, at least it taught me that in the USA they have a thing called "wedding shower" before the wedding which involves the exchange of gifts, although it was unclear whether the bride gives away gifts, receives gifts, or both. Still, I take my lessons whenever I get them.
Worst scene: Dempsey and his gang of friends are shocked and awed when they witness Dempsey Scottish rival's tool in the shower room. Aside of the lack of taste, isn't there like a pact or something between all dudes not to perform comparisons in shared bathrooms? Oh, I see: as this is a chick flick, the chicks watching the films are not meant to be aware of this secret pact.
Worst joke: In a premarital Scottish ritual, men compete for the bride by performing manly fits like throwing logs and such. The men are dressed in classic Scottish attire, but for some elusive reason Dempsey gets to wear a mini Scottish kilt. So sophisticated!
Technical assessment: This Blu-ray has nothing really going for it. The picture is per the format's standard but with inconsistent colors, and the Dolby TrueHD soundtrack shows the value of a lossless sound format but does not have much going for it otherwise.
Overall: A very standard and overly conservative chick flick that entertains a little. 2.5 out of 5 stars.


Mike said...

Patrick Dempsey is NOT the new George Clooney. Virtually every straight man in America views him as a rom-com, soap-opera stooge, and dismisses him accordingly. Clooney is far more rugged.

Moshe Reuveni said...

Welcome, Mike.
Not that I think it flatters me, but I plea relative ignorance on both Clooney and Dempsey. All I know is that both are men that, for some reason or another, have a way of penetrating chicks' firewalls, and both started their way through some medical soap opera.
I suspect it's Clooney's choice of taking part in macho films like Dusk Till Dawn that gave him the more rugged branding. Whichever way it is, I know I really like some of Clooney’s films (e.g., Solaris) whereas Dempsey’s efforts thus far have been redundant.

Mike said...

Oh, this is YRF from TMGB. I jsut did some cosmetic changes as I have some new blog stuff on the horizon. Nobody new under the sun.

Uri said...

didn't Dempsey start in Can't Buy Me Love?

(and Clooney in Rosanne, but at least that's TV)

BTW, if he came out on his horse to save her, isn't he more of a Willoughby than a Darcy?