They don't call him McDreamy for nothing. After the fairy-tale fantasy "Enchanted," the handsome and utterly charming Patrick Dempsey ("Grey's Anatomy") has graduated to more adult fare. And he does so with aplomb, humor and just enough caddish attitude to make the ladies swoon in "Made of Honor."
Tom (Dempsey) is the ultimate womanizer, a guy who doesn't "do back-to-backs" -- sleep with the same girl on consecutive nights. He's got a cool convertible and swagger to match.
He meets Hannah (a marvelous yet mixed-up Michelle Monaghan) by chance at Cornell. More specifically, he climbs into bed with her by mistake. Thus a long-term friendship is born. For the next decade, they remain confidantes, shopping partners and dining companions, everything except lovers.
But when Hannah leaves Manhattan for a six-week business trip to Scotland, Tom becomes (gasp) reflective. Friendship turns into desire, and he finally admits aloud, "I think I have feelings for Hannah." When she returns engaged, the silly plan to win her over kicks into action; of course, he has a little help from his friends.
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Superbly cast, Tom's somewhat cliché basketball buddies include a dashing and delightful Kadeem Hardison and an understated yet coolly self-confident Chris Messina, who between them can be counted on for nonstop ribbing and very sensible advice: "First, you've got to show her you're grown up." More important, and probably the most truthful morsel from these playful pals: "You don't need to lie to get a woman into bed."
Most pressing: They tell Tom he has a "better chance of stopping the wedding from inside than from another continent." He reluctantly agrees. The ridiculously lofty goal is to serve as maid of honor so he can steal the bride.
Assured that it's just "like pulling off a Band-Aid," Tom flies to Scotland and tries to tell Hannah how he really feels. Her hunky Scottish fiancé Colin (the wonderfully understated and debonair Kevin McKidd) finds himself competing with Tom at every turn.
Thoroughly likable and also quite attractive, Colin, a mere duke, comes from an upper-crust dynasty of distillery owners and is officially deemed "royalty."
After Colin calls basketball "a women's game," he proceeds to dunk with ease and politely show up Tom and all the other players with very little effort. Worse, in honor of his bride-to-be, Colin, an accomplished hunter, has personally killed nearly everything served at the rehearsal dinner. Mmm-mmm.
Sure, the grouchy bridesmaids and stuffy Scottish relatives are a tad over the top, but this far-fetched yet entertaining combination of romance and resistance is nonetheless uplifting and helped by fine performances.
Most memorable is Sydney Pollack, hilarious yet warm and sincere as Tom's loyal, six-time-married dad.
This mushy yet implausible mix of "The Graduate" and "My Best Friend's Wedding" also offers a touch of "Highlander," thrown in for the guys who get dragged along.
Despite the stereotypical male bonding and female infighting, the treacly tale proves that a virile single guy's friends can be just as important as his conquests; and occasionally, meaningful trumps macho.