By AMY NICHOLSON
By ALAN SCHERSTUHL
By CAROLINA DEL BUSTO
By AMY NICHOLSON
By STEPHANIE ZACHAREK
By R. Scott Moxley
Here Comes the Bride. Yawn
McDreamy tries to win over his engaged gal pal in My Best Friend's Made of Honor Wedding
In Made of Honor, Patrick Dempsey plays a conveniently rich and willfully single serial "fornicator" slowly but surely domesticated by his unspoken love for longtime BFF Hannah (Michelle Monaghan), who's on her way to Scotland to marry Mr. Right Now since Mr. Right's too chickenshit to say boobefore her "I do." Which, come to think of it, not only sums up this movie, but also more or less half of the films in which Dempsey starred between 1987 and 2003, when he was scheduled to headline a Fox TV series based on the film About a Boywith Dempsey in the Hugh Grant role of the conveniently rich and willfully single serial "fornicator" slowly but surely domesticated by his blah-blah-blah . . .
And then, of course, there's the My Best Friend's Wedding connection, only the filmmakers and McDreamy have been so upfront about the resemblance between their offering and the 1997 movie's threesome that to acknowledge any further similarities would be playing right into their grubby paws.
There's not an original thought in this movie's empty brain; it should only entertain those still getting adjusted to the idea of talkies. The storyline, which also borrows liberally from every episode of every sitcom in which men and women sit around and grouse ever-so-wittily about the opposite sex, doesn't amuse, amaze, or attempt to be anything other than a pleasant, forgettable diversion. As Dempsey admitted in a recent interview, "We're not reinventing the wheel here," and it just might be considerably more enjoyable to watch him change a flat.
The torture begins in 1998 at Cornell, where, we're supposed to believe, Dempsey (who turned 42 in January) and Monaghan (who turned 32 in March) are in the same class. Dempsey—wearing a Bill Clinton mask, under which he seems to have on a vaguely creepy-looking Young Patrick Dempsey mask—climbs into bed with Monaghan, thinking she's the "Monica" whose dress he's scheduled to stain that evening. Only, not so much: She's the roomie and doesn't take kindly to being assaulted in the middle of the night by a well-known Big Misogynist on Campus. She chews him out good, then . . . cut to present day in New York City, where they're now the best of friends with no further explanation given or, apparently, necessary.
Dempsey's Tom is a man of leisure who made his fortune creating coffee cuffs—you know, the cardboard sleeves that protect your fingers from getting burned? Monaghan's Hannah, on the other hand, works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she restores old masterpieces—for a good three seconds, at least, until she's whisked away to Scotland on business, where she meets hunky Colin (Kevin McKidd). At least, it appears they meet in Scotland: The film cuts away right before their meet-cute on a rainy, sheep-filled dirt road, where a man approaches on horseback in the distance while Hannah's in her car on her cell with Tom. Director Paul Weiland, whose subtle touch to storytelling served him well when he worked on the Mr. Bean TV series, doesn't even allow Monaghan a reaction shot as she spies the heroic stranger; no smile upon her lips, no glint in her eye, just a quick, hollow cut, print, that's a wrap.
And then and then and then: Weiland and his trio take us to all the expected places with all the familiar archetypes doing all the inevitable things people are supposed to do in movies featuring characters in a hurry to bust up their beloved's wedding to someone else. It never attempts, not once, to do anything other than push all the same buttons on the audience ATM.
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