Made of Honour (UK - DVD R2)
Marcus Doidge braves the latest Grey's Anatomy star's rom-com on Sony DVD...
Rich man-whore Tom (Patrick Dempsey) has been best friends with Hannah (Michelle Monaghan) since they met at University. They go together like peas and carrots but they never became a couple despite the fact that Hannah obviously has a thing for McDreamy... Sorry, Tom.
Hannah goes away to Scotland for six weeks and surprise, surprise, Tom realises that he ‘has feelings for her’ and he’s going to ‘tell her when she comes back’. I probably don’t have to write much more of an overview as I’m pretty sure you all know what’s coming next but for the sake of catering to the crowd that buy into all this dross, she reveals that she met someone while away and they are going to get married in two weeks time. Oh my god, the drama!
To make things worse and to explain the movie’s title, Hannah asks Tom to be her Maid of Honour (or Honor depending on where you’re watching this). Tom sets in motion a plan to win over Hannah by being the best Maid of Honour he can be… yeah I know, it makes loads of sense doesn’t it.
Watching movies like this makes we wonder how the hell they still get away with making them. Romantic comedies aren’t the only genre that can be accused of recycling scenarios and having characters follow the same routes, but it’s certainly one that does it without remorse. As an audience we just seem to accept this constant barrage of nonsense. The rich guys without a care in the world, the girls who just don’t seem to have enough self respect to get on with their lives, or the constant evolution of the silly unrealistic situations that are neither romantic nor comedic for the most part.
Made of Honour has all of the above and it sails along at a pace that enables you to question just how easy this could have sorted itself out if our lead male had told our lead female how he felt rather than it all getting ridiculous, which it does—a hell of a lot. It all begins okay with both Dempsey and the cute as a button Monaghan making for quite a realistic should-be couple with a nice bit of chemistry but as soon as the bombshell of the wedding drops all the good work that they’d set up is napalmed. In fact it could be argued they no longer feel like friends at all. They don’t talk about anything, they don’t know how each other would react and Monaghan’s character doesn’t even tell her best friend in the world that she’s moving to Scotland permanently until the day before she is about to leave. Why do filmmakers assume we will buy into this sort of crap?
Alongside the main romantic thread, we're also forced to swallow the usual slew of unrealistic guy talk, shoddy caricature sub characters, main characters' being stupidly mean for no real reason, yet we're still meant to like them and the uber cliché ‘This isn't what it looks like’ moment. All of this for the sake of the big kiss we all wait for in a rom-com, which while totally rewarding here, was glanced over for the sake of even more weak situation comedy.
It goes from nuisance to offensive pretty fast once we get to Scotland. With more than enough gags involving Scottish traditions and having the characters dressing up for the future in-laws traditional highland games to prove the groom is strong enough to claim his bride, is just the final straw. I just find myself getting embarrassed watching these actors slumming it so badly. Michelle Monaghan is better than this, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and MI:3 have proven this and even Dempsey seems to have more charisma than this movie deserves.
It’s not that I’m being the typical ‘bloke’ here. I’m up for a good romantic comedy, honestly I am but Made of Honour is so mind numbingly generic and what’s worse is studios know that if they sell it hard enough by polishing it up all brightly and putting it in a nice pretty pink case on release, they’ll make all the ladies out there think this is what girls want from a movie. Frankly it just annoys me that this large section of movie audiences are being so woefully manipulated to get excited about this stuff whilst genuinely great movies that do this sort of thing with class, get ignored because they are low budget or without big names.
Oh and to add even more insult to injury, I think the message they want you to take from the movie is ‘Treat you woman like you'd treat a dog’—nice!
Made of Honour has a pretty great transfer in all honesty. It’s bright, well lit and is obviously made to look nice and glossy for its rom-com audience. There’s a bit of an issue with colours blocking together on close ups and it sometimes suffers from those slightly bizarre greenish shadows that crop up on skin tones but these are very minor qualms in what is a nice colourful looking film.
Good if you like listening to the movie’s flaccid soundtrack of chick-pop but all in all it’s a pretty standard affair. No real use of the 5.1 system with most of the action in the front speakers and only one real use of bass which is for one of the films huge array of unfunny gags. Basically the audio is solid and sounds like every other big studio romantic comedy out there.
The commentary by the film’s director Paul Weiland is largely a technical affair with lots of stories about the film’s locations and techniques. It’s interesting enough but gets pretty dull as most one man commentaries do. Next up is ‘Save the Date’ (12:22), which is pure making of gloss, as is ‘Three Weddings and a Skyline” (6:32), which is the production designer working on the different styles of wedding in the movie (yawn).
There are also two deleted scenes (3:16), which add nothing and a selection of trailers for a bunch of other Sony movies.
Made of Honour is as typical as they come and as per usual, I’m not its audience. It’s got a couple of good leads to make it watchable but even these guys can’t save it from feeling like another half-assed attempt to spark a bit of life into a genre that’s bubble must be on the verge of popping by now.
The video is good, which hints that the Blu-ray would be a better option for those that want to suffer this in HD, but I for one am pretty much over the cast of Grey’s Anatomy sailing through their season breaks with these easy pay check movies and allowing studios to take advantage of their built-in audience.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over
Release Date: 29th September 2008
Disc Type: Single side, dual layer
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Audio Description Track
Subtitles: English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
Extras: Directors Commentary, Making of's, Trailers
Easter Egg: No
Director: Paul Weiland
Cast: Patrick Dempsey, Michelle Monaghan, Sydney Pollack
Genre: Comedy, Drama and Romance
Length: 97 minutes
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