Patrick Dempsey’s McDreamy in the hit show Grey’s Anatomy (2005-present) cares about people so the audience cares about him. However, Dempsey’s character Tom in Made of Honor apparently has no morals or ethics so why should the audience care what happens to him? Not only does he fail to heat up the screen in Made of Honor, Dempsey proves he is actually not ‘made of honor.’
32-year-old Tom is a womanizer with commitment phobia. He sleeps around with one woman after the other, making it perfectly clear to them that he wants nothing more than sex out of the relationship. Then he spends his free time with best friend Hannah (Michelle Monaghan), a smart and successful art restorer, whom he’s known since college. She knows about his sleazy way of life, and surprisingly accepts him for it.
Then Hannah goes on a business trip to Scotland for six weeks, leaving Tom alone and forcing him to reflect on his life without Hannah. He realizes he’s in love with her and decides to tell her when she returns. Just one thing: Hannah’s already fallen in love with Colin, a Duke of Scotland, and has gotten engaged. She asks Tom to be her Maid of Honor, which he grudgingly accepts so only to stay close with Hannah and convince her she’s making a huge mistake.
As you can see, this story is just a bad copy of My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997). Only in Made of Honor, there’s no reason why Hannah should choose Tom after all these years of using her as a shield against other women. There’s a scene when Tom and Hannah are at his father’s wedding reception when one of Tom’s stalkers shows up. He immediately uses Hannah, lying that they are dating and in love so that this stalker will leave him alone. Put simply, Tom is a jerk. He uses women, including Hannah, and the audience is supposed to sympathize with him?
And unlike My Best Friend’s Wedding, there’s a lack of the engaged couple’s character development. There are barely any scenes with just Hannah and Colin, nor anything to demonstrate their chemistry. It just goes to show that the screenwriters never intended to pose a huge contest between Colin and Tom. If Hannah chooses Colin the Duke, then the story says she’s living in a fantasy; therefore, it’s best that she get together with Tom the selfish womanizer. There are several flaws with the characters in Made of Honor, but there were also a few priceless scenes.
Tom was somewhat amusing while he labored to be the best Maid of Honor for Hannah. The night before Hannah’s bridal shower, Tom gets in touch with his feminine side while putting together the gift baskets with his male friends. But like many scenes in the film, they are all cut short without having let the audience experience the moment. The bridal shower, the wedding rehearsal, even the Highland games seemed like just backdrops as opposed to actual events in the story.
Speaking of the Highland games, the wedding taking place in Scotland may have been the most interesting part of the story. As a celebration of Hannah and Colin’s marriage, his family puts together the Highland games, a form of Scottish heritage and culture, which include games, music and dancing. The men, including Tom, wear kilts during the athletic competitions. In these games created centuries ago, men must prove their athletic ability which would demonstrate the skills necessary to survive in society. The game immediately becomes a battle between Tom and Colin.
The story’s exposure to Scottish society and culture was the most charming aspect for me. The beautiful scenery of the land and sea made me want to visit the country. However, even this attraction wouldn’t make me watch the film again.
I expected more from Dempsey with his huge success in the late 1980’s and now currently playing Dr. Derek Shepherd in Grey’s Anatomy. But despite his success on television now, this appeal doesn’t always carry over to the big screen.
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