A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this predictably sweet romantic comedy, which will likely attract teen fans of star Patrick Dempsey (Grey's Anatomy), is an escapist, lightweight confection. While there aren't too many edges to the story -- no outright nudity, no raunchy sex romps, no bitter diatribes against men (or women) -- there's definitely some iffy stuff. Tom is clearly a player (though he's up front about his commitment issues with women, and they seem to like him anyway), marriage is lightly mocked, and a geeky character is made fun of time and time again. Characters also let loose with innuendoes and a few salty swear words here and there, there's a fair amount of drinking in social situations, and some products are pretty noticeable.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Tom (Patrick Dempsey) and Hannah (Michelle Monaghan) have been best pals since college, when caddish Tom mistakenly jumped into Hannah's bed instead of her roommate's during a raucous party. Hannah scolds him, and in no short order, they're fast friends. A decade later, Tom's still a bed-hopper who follows a stringent set of dating rules that includes no dates to weddings/family gatherings and no "I love you"s. His only commitment is spending Sundays with Hannah. Clearly, they're meant to be -- but Tom doesn't realize that until she goes on a long trip to Scotland. He misses her terribly and resolves to tell her how he feels when she gets back. But when she does, she's got an almost-too-good-to-be-true Scottish fiancé in tow -- and she wants Tom to be her maid of honor. He only has two weeks to convince her that he's really the best man.
Is it any good?
Dempsey channels McDreamy as Tom, but he also tackles the role with nuance and bite. He's not the prototypical noncommittal boor here; rules aside, he's actually likeable and endearing, as well as believably overcome by his romantic epiphany. He elevates MADE OF HONOR from standard romcom to something somewhat smarter -- though only just. The nuptial dramas are uninspired; the supporting players are paint-by-numbers. (The lone married guy in Tom's posse who roots for him to join him in marital bliss? Check. The overweight bridesmaid dieting to get into her dress? Check.) And even though Monaghan is charming, refreshingly un-saccharine, and has palpable chemistry with Dempsey, she's still forgettable here. Dempsey's Tom deserves a girl with grit -- one who'd struggle with the idea of making her best guy friend her mate and not be so willing to be swept off her feet.
Still, the laughs come fairly easily, and audiences are bound to gasp at the splendor that is Scotland (the cinematographer is brilliant). In the end, even curmudgeons will find themselves toasting the inevitable happy ending.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what, if anything, makes this movie different from other romantic comedies?
How does this movie define love? Is it a little too perfect? Is that perfection the very reason that romantic comedies are so popular?
Families can also discuss why Tom and Hannah never got together in the first place. Why did they just stay friends?
Is it a good idea for them to move their relationship to the next level?
Why should Hannah trust someone who's never really fallen in love?
- In theaters: May 1, 2008
- On DVD or streaming: September 15, 2008
- Cast: Michelle Monaghan, Patrick Dempsey, Sydney Pollack
- Director: Paul Weiland
- Studio: Columbia Tristar
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 101 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sexual content and language.
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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