Movie Review: Made of Honor


Now to debut what I hope will be a recurring feature: reviews of wedding movies as though they were serious art and/or a useful guide to planning a wedding!

I begin with Made of Honor, because I recently visited Scotland, where key portions of the film allegedly take place. The Scotland I just saw with my own eyeballs bears little to no resemblance to the pretend Scotland depicted in the film, but that’s in keeping with the disconnect from reality that permeates this absurd movie.

By means of introduction, observe the films’ poster:

Made of Honor poster

Do you recognize the actress in this poster? I didn’t. But she is, in fact, Michelle Monaghan, charming actress and Gadget Hackwrench-lookalike.  Much in the way that Michelle Monaghan is unrecognizable on this poster, the events depicted in Made of Honor are not recognizable as life.  Even phony rom-com life!

I’ll put the rest behind a cut to spare those who don’t want to be spoiled, even about a movie as predictable as the lunar cycle.

The film opens with the Smashmouth song “Walking on the Sun,” which made me worry I was watching the wrong movie, something from the late 1990s, maybe a forgotten “Made of Honor” starring Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Tara Reid.  [You know, like when you accidentally rent the 1978 film “Inglorious Bastards”]  But it turns out this is just the flashback to 1998 when the leads meet cute in college, and before you can get used to Patrick Dempsy’s creepily de-aged face we get an opening credits song that plants us firmly back in the end of last decade: Sara Bareilles’s “Love Song.”

In the intervening 10 years, Dempsey has become fabulously wealthy by virtue of having invented coffee cup sleeves, earning ten cents for every one in use.  So let’s add patent law to the list of things this movie grossly misrepresents.

He has also developed a Barney Stinson-esque set of rules designed to keep himself isolated from meaningful relationships with women, save for Michelle Monaghan, his platonic stand-by date for Sunday brunch and his father’s serial weddings.   Why she is interested in maintaining this relationship is one of the inscrutable mysteries of how the filmmakers see the universe.

It is only when Michelle moves to Scotland for a few months that Dempsey realizes he’s loved her all along, because when he takes the ladies he beds out for brunch, they are vapid.  Because only inhumanly dumb women would have casual sexual relationships with attractive rich guys.

But, alas, Michele returns from the UK with a fiancé in tow. His name is Colin, just like my fiancé, but spelled correctly.

Michelle wants Dempsey to be her maid of honor, even though he has a penis. Wacky!  And what does she get for challenging tradition? A mole in her wedding party!

Although, as memory serves (or maybe doesn’t), Dempsey doesn’t actually do ANYTHING sabotagey, accept for the very obvious “passionately kiss the bride shortly before her nuptials” tactic, which he could have easily performed even from outside the wedding party.  So in addition to being asinine, the premise of this movie fails to guide the plot.

Does Dempsey succeed in stealing the bride? Have you ever seen a movie before?

I do not find breaking up someone’s wedding particularly honorable, but I am perhaps the wrong audience for this flick.  The movie assures the audience we shouldn’t feel bad for the jilted Colin because he’s not right for Michelle anyway: His Scottish family has accents which are difficult to understand! He hunts game and she’s rude to shopkeepers selling alligator purses! Even without Dempsey’s love for her, it would only be right of him to keep her away from that dastardly Scotsman.

So what wedding lessons can be learned from Made of Honor?

  1. Vet potential wedding party members for secretly being in love with either bride or groom.
  2. If you get married in pretend Scotland, your wedding ensemble will have to have some tartan element, so ENGAGE AMERICAN!
  3. A modern rooftop wedding to the man who destroyed your old-fashioned church wedding in a foreign land is your REAL happy ending.  Two weddings! It’s like every girl’s dream SQUARED! Forget the other lessons.


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