Made of Honour
Review by Jack Foley
THE British Isles have always seemed to fare badly when it comes to being depicted in American romantic comedies, whether it was the woeful depiction of London for Ross’s wedding in long-running TV series Friends or, most recently, the stereotypical display of Ireland in PS, I Love You.
Scotland is the latest to get shafted in Made of Honour, another misfiring romantic comedy that falls apart at the [wedding dress] seams when attempting to tackle the cultural divide.
New York ladies man Tom (Patrick Dempsey) is forced to reassess his lot in life when beautiful best friend Hannah (Michelle Monaghan) becomes instantly smitten with a charming Duke (Kevin McKidd) during a six-week business trip to Scotland.
Asked to be her maid of honour at the subsequent wedding, Tom heads to Scotland determined to reveal his true feelings for Hannah and steal the bride for himself. But the path to true love proves much more complicated as there are plenty of obstacles – including kilts and Highland games – standing in the way.
Early on, Paul (Sixty Six) Weiland’s film is made bearable by the strong chemistry that exists between leads Dempsey and Monaghan, whose easygoing camaraderie papers over many of the cracks in New York-set sequences.
Dempsey offers a nice alternative to his better-known alter ego “Dr McDreamy” [in Grey’s Anatomy], exuding a roguish, womanising charm that’s endearing without being obnoxious early on, while Monaghan offers a feisty play-partner and is genuinely easy to fall for.
But neither can do anything with the clichéd script that lazily puts them in one contrived situation after another without ever really placing any doubt over whether they’ll eventually get together.
Once they hit the Isle of Skye, things quickly become a lost cause with stereotypes flying thick and fast at viewers. Attempts to find humour in Scottish traditions mostly backfire, while the characterisations conform to the American view of quaint and/or kooky Britain.
The supposedly comic sight of Dempsey in a mini-kilt, complete with unflattering white Y-fronts, is also more nightmarish than hilarious. While Kevin McKidd’s Scotsman proves so earnest and forgiving that he never once seems like a flesh and blood character capable of mixing it up for Hannah’s affections.
In the end, what should have been a fun, traditional romantic comedy ends up being a tedious countdown to the inevitable that falls flat on its face despite the best efforts of its endearing leads.
Running time: 101mins
UK DVD Release: September 29, 2008