Tuesday, February 10, 2009

MADE OF HONOR (2008)

CHICK FLICK DATING TIP: You know your rich, hunky guy friend, the one who only hangs with you to brag about his hyperactive sex life, demean your womanhood at every turn, and taunt your sexless existence? Yeah, he’s totally into you.

THE CARD:

Platonic friendship through attempted rape, dumb-dumbs doing dim sum, men's bullshit theories about women, women's bullshit theories about men, Not-Rachel-McAdams, Lucius Vorenus McJourneyman, poor, poor Sydney Pollack, Lt. Howard Hunter the Wacky Priest, Dwayne Cleophus Wayne the Minority Friend, geekless but not freakless Kim Kelly, Ben-Wa Ball Necklaces, and Can’t Buy Me a Decent Script.

More details here.

THE ANGLE:

McSqueezy (Patrick Dempsey) is a hard-bodied stud who invented the little cardboard thingy wrapped around cups that wimps use at coffee shops to keep their sensitive fingers from burning. He makes a fortune from his invention, drives a fancy car, and is banging his way through the Manhattan telephone directory. McPukey’s best friend is art nerd Hannah (Michelle Monaghan) who he met under embarrassing circumstances during their college days at Cornell. Basically, he almost raped her. Yeah. Anyway, years later, the pair shares a fun-loving but platonic relationship in which McSquelchy spouts his insipid dating rules, shops for antiques, frowns about his serial-marrying Dad (Sydney Pollack) and smirks for the camera. But their relationship is purely platonic as the commitment-phobic McCheesey enjoys her company because he is spared the pressure of obligation, monogamy, and being a man. Hannah feels otherwise, wishing for something more from the rascally McChump. When Hannah’s job sends her to Scotland for a three-weeks, McScreechy feels the pain of her absence and seeks solaces in his privileged burden-less, do-nothing, horrible life of sitting around, looking striking, playing basketball with dorks, and nailing secretaries. Oh weep for McSqueezy! He finally reaches the conclusion that he loves Hannah and plans to declare his feelings to her, but things get complicated when she returns to New York with dashing dumb-as-rocks noble Scotsman Colin (Jason McKidd) whom is now engaged to and plans to marry very soon. To top-off McSquishy’s agony and snip off what’s left of his ego, Hannah asks him to be her Maid of Honor. McStupid agrees and trains himself in the ways of the Maid of Honor and all the dopey duties that the marriage industry decrees must be done and what must be purchased at outrageous prices. He and his pals concoct an elaborate plan to win Hannah over from her big-weenied hubby-to-be, but he first must contend with the pitfalls of wedding planning, eating haggis, a drafty kilt, and the vile Melissa (Busy Phillips), Hannah’s jealous and vengeful sister who has a past with McStiffy. And McDreamy will have to prove himself to be a better man than Groundskeeper Willy if he is to avoid becoming McDumpy.

THE FINISHER:

The appeal of Patrick Dempsey is a mystery to me, even more so since his recent resurgence on that inane sexy hospital show. My opinion is hopelessly clouded by what I remember from the Patrick Dempsey of twenty years ago. Too good looking to be a nerd and too ugly to be a leading man, Dempsey was relegated as a Brat Packer outsider consigned to the dopey teen comedy, namely Can’t Buy Me Love and the unholy Loverboy. Other than a turn as Meyer Lansky in the atrocious Mobsters, Dempsey is mostly regarded as a forgettable teen star of pimply 80s drive-in fare. Plus, the dude is butt-ugly. I don’t see what women are swooning over in this new McDreamy schtick. He looks like a garden gnome.

So despite the baffling attraction toward Dempsey, I will say that he is a capable actor, fitted with the all the banal qualities to be a believable romantic lead in a silly comedy. And it doesn’t get any more banal or silly than romantic comedy Made for Honor, a misnomer of a movie that is neither dreamy nor funny. The story is about as fresh as last Friday’s fish fillets left out of the fridge, but the screen pairing of Dempsey and Monaghan works fairly well despite the ho-hum script. The reverse-role aspect of the movie is rarely touched upon, wasted only for a few lame gender-bending jokes and wacky pratfalls. And the movie has no qualms about totally insulting the Scottish people, their love of skirts, irritating music, and sheep stomach eating. For shame! The movie is littered with cheap jokes, dull characters, and clich├ęd dildo humor that made me question my honor towards my beloved Cinema. One standout, however, is the enormously cute Monaghan who delivers a delightful performance. She is smart and funny and rises above the well-trodden territory of the romantic comedy the movie stomps all over. And it’s apparent at times that the filmmakers were striving for nostalgic feel to the film, something familiar and old-fashioned from an era long gone.

Kind of like medieval torture.

1 comment:

Rita said...

Tis a shame that more men don't resemble garden gnomes. ;)