I’m going to get some flak for saying this, but Made of Honor is a romantic comedy made for me. Yes, I’m a man. And heterosexual. Most romantic comedies take the side of the woman’s point of view, with men either as heinous characters or pawns in the female lead’s plot to find love. Bla bla bla. Made of Honor, however, is written from “the guy’s perspective,” a film that shows what happens when a dude realizes that the woman he’s been hanging with since college really means more to him than expected, and he needs to do what it takes to keep from losing her. Consider it a less-vulgar, more grown-up and only slightly less funny version of Superbad, if you will. Yeah, I thought that might pique your interest.
Here’s the gist: Thomas Bailey (Patrick Dempsey) enters room in college hoping to find one girl. Instead, he crawls into bed with — and is perfume-maced by – Hannah (Michelle Monaghan), her roommate. For years, Tom and Hannah hang out as completely plutonic friends, with Tom becoming a womanizing “man’s man” and Hannah secretly pining for Tom to finally fall for her. When Hannah leaves for a one-month job in Scotland, Tom realizes that he loves her and decides to tell her how he feels once she returns. Problem: she returns with another man — who just so happens to be a buff wealthy member of royalty. Oh, and they’re getting hitched. Worse yet, Hannah asks Tom to be her “maid of honor.”
Saboteurs, rejoice. After numerous manly discussions with “his boys,” Tom eventually decides to break down the union “from the inside.” No dice. The Duke absolutely “out-mans” Tom and the wedding proceeds as planned. Remember, though, the film still has some “chick flick” appeal, so at the “speak now or forever hold your peace” line, Tom enters, wins over Hannah and gets his girl. And a monstrous black eye from the Duke, too.
The 1080p AVC video transfer in Made of Honor maintains the film’s theatrical aspect ratio of 2.40:1, with its video quality crisp enough to render plenty of details, such as small objects in the Scottish countryside, individual appendages in long-distance shots, and nice color whether you’re looking at skin tones, kilt patterns or the downtown Manhattan streetscape. Romantic comedies don’t often have good video, but perhaps because Sony Pictures knew this was “a man’s romantic comedy,” they gave the video a bit more attention than normal. You know, because we guys appreciate that sort of thing.
Sony stepped it up with the lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio, too, which makes decent use of the surround channels both downtown and near the Scottish loch. A nice surprise is that the dialogue is also nicely balanced, with dribbled basketballs and upended waiters never overpowering the script or seeming lost in the background. All things considered, the audio joins the video in terms of being a pleasant surprise for a film in this genre.
As is traditional for this genre, though, Made of Honor on Blu-ray has very few bonus features. But again, that’s pretty much par for the course with romantic comedies. A commentary track starts things off, providing the normal insight into production challenges, followed by Save the Date: The Making of Made of Honor (12:54), a relatively general piece that covers everything from working in Scotland and creating the costumes to the influence of improvisation in the script. Remarkably, it never delves into the traditional director ego stroke so common in these features, but it does touch on the tried-and-true exploration of the working dynamics between actors and director.
Three Weddings and a Skyline discusses the art direction and creation for the three weddings in the film, with particular attention paid to the use of color, props and lighting to create the right ambience in each scene. Hearing how they created a church in Scotland by piecing together a real Scottish church and an abandoned church outside of London is intriguing, and the rooftop wedding in New York (actually downtown LA) involved a lot more preparation than you’d think. However, the feature does include a weird mix of live interviews and totally canned/scripted information about how a green screen works. Yeah, like we didn’t know that already.
Deleted Scenes is more aptly named “extended scenes,” and the extra content isn’t really that compelling. For that matter, there are only two scenes total (“locker room” and “Highland games”), which makes it seem like the producers were really stretching for bonus content on this Blu-ray release. Brownie points for trying guys, but better luck next time.
Made of Honor is also equipped with BD-Live functionality, but as of the writing of this review, the content was not yet available online.
Even without a mass number of bonus features, Made of Honor is still worth your while, if for no other reason than it’s the first romantic comedy designed for men. Sure, it’s got Patrick Dempsey; that just makes it easy for the ladies to watch the three-on-three basket games and highland games, where much of the plot is delivered. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a “must buy,” and it’s probably not a film you’ll brag to “the guys” about seeing, but it’s also not one that men need to cringe at popping into the Blu-ray player when the wife wants a movie night.
Buy Made of Honor on Blu-ray at Amazon.com.
- Score: 7.4
— Jonas Allen