Credit: Giles Keyte

Let’s see: A guy-girl pair of best friends? And one of them is planning to sabotage the other’s wedding? Sounds a little?familiar. ”Our whole thing with Made of Honor was that we couldn’t do My Best Friend’s Wedding again,” says producer Neal Moritz. ”But we could do the reverse of it.” And that meant swapping the genders of the lead roles: Made‘s wedding crasher is a man-about-town (Patrick Dempsey) who agrees to be the man of honor for his newly engaged friend (Michelle Monaghan) in a last-ditch effort to win her heart. But Dempsey insists that his movie is more than just a retread. ”We knew we were going to get that comparison [to My Best Friend’s Wedding],” he says, ”And we tried to work against that, in a sense. You didn’t want to hit the same beats.”

To that end, Dempsey and director Paul Weiland decided to add comic touches to the movie on the fly. ”We were constantly working on the script and changing things around and improving,” says Dempsey, whose spur-of-the-moment inspiration sometimes caught his costar Monaghan off guard. ”We were shooting a scene where he’s helping me pick out my china,” she recalls, ”and he just picks up all these plates in the middle of the scene and starts juggling them. I was like, ‘What are you doing? Those aren’t props! We have to pay for those!”’

The actress was equally amused by the throngs of Grey’s Anatomy fans who mobbed Dempsey during the movie’s location shoots in New York City. ”It’s really funny to see women get giggly over him,” Monaghan says. ”I suppose I did at some stage too, though.” For his part, Dempsey knows that it’s those fans who have made him a star. So while many TV actors decide to play against type in their film work, he decided to play to his base instead. ”It was sort of what people would expect,” he says. ”We’re not reinventing the wheel here. But hopefully we’re entertaining people.” (May 2)

Made of Honor
  • Movie
  • 101 minutes