Title: Made of Honor
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Director: Paul Weiland
Screenwriters: Adam Sztykiel, Deborah Kaplan
Starring: Patrick Dempsey, Michelle Monaghan, Kevin McKidd
The greatest trick the devil ever pulled might be convincing the world he doesn’t exist, but the second greatest trick he ever pulled is surely convincing the world that Made of Honor is just another breezy, formulaic, fundamentally harmless romantic comedy. That this is the prevailing impression is a huge testament to the film’s advertising campaign, and Sony should give its marketing people a raise (or else the devil a sacrifice). Made of Honor may be formulaic, but it’s not breezy, and it certainly isn’t harmless. Vile, contemptuous, and completely unfamiliar with what humor entails, it’s one of the dumbest and — I wish I were joking — worst films I’ve ever seen.
A hint of Made of Honor‘s boundless stupidity can be found in its title. What does it mean? People keep referring to it as a pun, but a pun entails a double meaning, and I see only one meaning. The story involves a woman (Michelle Monaghan) who names her male best friend (Patrick Dempsey) her maid of honor (ho ho ho) — there’s half the pun. But made of honor? Built of honor? I don’t get it. Neither will you. Neither does the movie.
If you think you know where this is going, you’re right — except it is guaranteed to be even more obvious than what you’re thinking. Of course, when Dempsey’s Tom (whose last name is not, as far as I could tell, “Made”) becomes Hannah’s maid of honor, he realizes that despite being an asshole womanizer, he’s actually deeply in love with her, and decides to sabotage the wedding from within. The plot therefore requires Hannah to realize that the guy who she’s planning to marry — a Scottish duke named Colin McMurray (Kevin McKidd) — is not the guy for her. What leads her to this conclusion? Why, the fact that Colin enjoys hunting! And prefers it when other people don’t pick at his dessert! And what is there to convince Hannah that she should marry Tom instead? Why, the very opposite characteristics! And earlier, Tom realized that Hannah is the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with because the literally hundreds of other women he sleeps with refuse to order for him at restaurants and aren’t into antiques — traits that Hannah possesses! Marvel at the sophistication of their bond.
And the jokes — oh, the jokes. A running gag is that one of Hannah’s other bridesmaids is really fat and therefore cannot fit into her dress. She goes on a radical diet, drinking only some disgusting calorie-free liquid, and still the dress won’t fit! IT RIPS! Hahaha! Another joke involves a weird guy with really tiny shorts who shows up whenever Tom and his buddies play basketball at the gym. He’s always there, and, despite being obviously retarded, tries to interject himself into the conversation. That’s it! That’s the joke. He doesn’t become involved in the plot in any way, and there’s no payoff of any sort. He shows up, annoys the characters (and us), and leaves.
The third act transformed my mood from intense annoyance to red-faced anger and embarrassment. Made of Honor first interrupts itself with an inexplicable interlude wherein Tom and Colin compete in a bizarre Scottish athletic competition for no apparent reason (other than putting Patrick Dempsey in a kilt and making a joke about how the kilt is really short). Then it attempts to resolve its plot in a way as obvious as humanly possible, only it’s not smart enough to execute the formula in a way that makes any sense.
Toward the very end, I became viscerally angry; I may or may not have actually scribbled obscenities in my notebook. I am not easily offended, but Made of Honor offended me. It’s offensive because it’s so incredibly, almost supernaturally, stupid.