From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Despite blissful chemistry between its leads, the romantic comedy “Made of Honor” tosses out a limp bouquet of tired gags and predictable plotlines.
College students Tom (Patrick Dempsey, TV’s “Grey’s Anatomy”) and Hannah (Michelle Monaghan, “Gone Baby Gone”) meet on Halloween 1998, when Tom, appropriately costumed as Bill Clinton, stumbles drunkenly into Hannah’s bed rather than the boudoir of his Monica. Hannah is bluntly honest about her opinion of Tom’s callow behavior, and the pair strike up an unlikely friendship.
Ten years later, Tom and Hannah remain platonic best friends, spending every Sunday hitting their favorite New York City spots together.
Tom has struck it rich as the inventor of the coffee collar (those cardboard sleeves you put around hot to-go cups) and has established a kind of lothario’s code, with rules such as never dating the same woman twice in a week.
Hannah, the less developed of the two characters, enjoys her job as an art restorer for a museum but doesn’t have much of a love life.
When Hannah is sent on a six-week acquistions trip to Scotland, her guy-pal starts to realize how empty his life is without her. Tom plans to declare his love when she returns, but Hannah comes home with a surprise: her new fiance, strapping Scottish Duke Colin McMurray (Kevin McKidd).
The besotted couple plan to wed in Scotland in two weeks, and Hannah asks Tom to serve as her maid of honor.
Tom’s basketball buddies (Kadeem Hardison, Chris Messina and Richmond Arquette) initially tease but then encourage him to take the maid of honor gig so he can sabotage the wedding and steal the bride.
The band of buddies tries to uncover some weakness in Colin’s character or background to exploit, but find him wealthy, athletic and courtly.
While Tom and the gang are trying to derail the wedding, Hannah’s cousin Melissa (Busy Philipps), one of Tom’s former lovers, sets out to sabotage the “maid of honor” at every turn.
The plot bears no small resemblance to “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and a litany of other wedding-related romantic comedies. Screenwriters Adam Sztykiel, Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont pour on a potpourri of humor – from slapstick to fish-out-of-water gags to PG-13-grade raunch – to cover the off-putting odor of unoriginality.
“Made of Honor” does have the fairly rare distinction of telling its tale from a male point of view. Dempsey, all grown up from his 1980s “Loverboy” days, radiates the considerable charm that has earned him the nickname “McDreamy.”
The movie’s best asset is the appealing rapport between Dempsey and Monaghan, who shine as best friends and spark as potential lovers.
“Made of Honor” offers a pleasantly amusing but not particularly memorable trip down the aisle.