Made Of Honor | 2008
The title doesn’t make much sense (it’s not even a real pun, is it?), but it’s familiar romcom territory when Hannah (Michelle Monaghan) chooses her bestest friend, the philandering Tom (Patrick Dempsey), to be ‘Maid of Honor’ at her whirlwind wedding. Of course, Tom suddenly realises that Hannah’s the woman he’s loved all along.
The film begins with a flashback to Tom and Hannah’s inauspicious meeting at ‘Cornell University’ in 1998. You might be surprised to realise that quite a lot of the film is made around Los Angeles and that’s the case here.
The campus is that of Occidental College, Eagle Rock, northeast of downtown LA. The college was featured in Clueless and for the Vulcan ritual in Star Trek III: The Search For Spock (seriously).
There’s a brief montage of Manhattan to set the scene, but Tom’s apartment was built in the Pacific Electric Lofts Building on Main Street at East 6th Street, in the Old Bank District, downtown Los Angeles.
Its distinctive arched windows were cleverly matched to the real Manhattan exterior, which is on the south corner of Spruce Street and Nassau Street in the Civic Center District.
Tom goes to meet Hannah at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 5th Avenue at 82nd Street, where she works as a restorer. The statue court is the museum’s (then) new Greek Room.
Their Sunday ritual involves a meal at Hsin Wong Restaurant, 72 Bayard Street in New York's Chinatown which, unfortunately, has since closed down.
You'll have no more luck tracking down “the best bakery in the world”, where they queue for treats, in New York. It's still in business, but it's over on the West Coast. It's Figaro Bistrot, 1802 North Vermont Avenue at Melbourne Avenue, in Los Feliz, up toward Griffith Park in Los Angeles. Apart from in Madonna's 2009 Louis Vuitton campaign, you might have seen Figaro as the site of a nasty murder in S.W.A.T.
And the third stop on their afternoon amble isn’t in the US at all. The antique market through which they meander is Gray’s Antiques, 58 Davies Street, just off Oxford Street in London W1. The two-storey market, with around 200 dealers, was established by Bennie Gray in 1977 in a striking 19th century terracotta building.
They attend the fifth (or is it sixth?) wedding of Tom father (Sydney Pollack). The church where he's wrangling over another complex pre-nup is Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3300 Wilshire Boulevard, in Midtown Los Angeles. The church was meant to be 'New York' again for the funeral at the end of Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man.
The reception is held in a venue on Sunset Boulevard but, afterwards, Tom and Hannah are back in New York, strolling in Central Park. It’s on the graceful Bow Bridge that she tells him she’s off on an acquisition trip to Scotland for six weeks.
Hannah stays at the Clachaig Inn, in Glencoe, Argyll, though interiors were filmed in Oxford. Incidentally, it was not fay from the Inn that Hagrid's hut was built for Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix.
The charming seafront village of pastel-painted houses is Portree, the largest town on the Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides. Public transport services are limited to buses. Portree has a harbour, fringed by cliffs, with a pier designed by Thomas Telford.
The exterior of the pub is the the Pier Hotel, Quay Street, on the Portree Harbour seafront.
You don't have to travel to the Isle of Skye to find the pub interior, where Hannah is obliged to endure a creepy kissing ritual while carrying a chamberpot, which is The Jolly Woodman, Littleworth Road in Littleworth Common, Buckinghamshire. The Woodman has a history in film which reads like a social history of the nation – from the genteel comedy of 1953 classic Genevieve, to the bawdiness of the 'Cock Inn' for Carry On Dick, to the 'Bull's Head' for class satire Riot Club.
There’s a bombshell waiting for Tom on Hannah’s return when she invites him out only to introduce her new fiancé, Colin.
The spacious ‘Manhattan’ restaurant, where Hannah asks Tom to be Maid of Honor while he is getting entangled with waiters, is The Edison, 108 West 2nd Street at Main Street, downtown Los Angeles. It's a steam-punk club in the retro industrial environment of what used to be LA's first private power plant.
Pretty different, but still not New York, is the white-and-silver hotel lobby in which Tom meets Hannah’s bridesmaids, is that of the Sheraton Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, London. Filming had to be carefully timed so as to avoid giveaway red buses trundling along Piccadilly.
Neil Jordan has used the Park Lane’s gleaming splendour for both Mona Lisa and The End of the Affair; the hotel appears as a 'Parisian' department store in The Danish Girl; as a restaurant and a beauty parlour in The Golden Compass, and as the ‘Zig Zag Club’ in legendary Madonna-Sean Penn turkey, Shanghai Surprise.
The rather OTT restaurant, with pillars, murals and a harpist, is the Tea Room of the Savoy Hotel, on the Strand in the West End. The Savoy is the hotel of choice for the cast of the film-within-a-film in The French Lieutenant’s Woman; for art thief Sean Connery in Entrapment; and for Nicolas Cage in National Treasure: Books Of Secrets; its Tea Room becomes a swanky 'New York' hotel in Made Of Honor; but it’s most famously known on screen as the scene of the abduction of Harold Shand (Bob Hoskins) at the end of The Long Good Friday.
Tom and Hannah head off to Grace Church, 802 Broadway, to meet the Reverend (James Sikking) who’s going to perform the nuptials. Simple?
Of course not. Once inside, the priest’s book-lined study is the Library of Cliveden House in Berkshire, three miles northeast of Maidenhead on the B476 Hedsor road. Once home to the Astor family (and the actual site of events recounted in the 1989 movie Scandal, with Ian McKellen as disgraced politician John Profumo), the Cliveden estate is now a National Trust property, and the house itself a luxury hotel.
Discovering that Hannah is leaving New York for good the next day, Tom mopes about at the fountain in the centre of Bethesda Terrace, Central Park, where he’s discomfited by a couple of Scottie dogs.
Nevertheless, Tom keeps up his duties and turns up in Scotland to perform his duties – cue gorgeous shots of Glen Coe.
Colin’s family’s ‘summer house’ (the smallest of their properties) is the 13th century Eilean Donan Castle on an islet in Dornie, eight miles east of Kyle of Lochalsh on the A87, Wester Ross. The islet, situated at the point where three great sea lochs meet, and surrounded by majestic scenery, is now one of the most visited attractions in the Scottish highlands.
The first fortified castle was built in the mid 13th century, and since then, at least four different versions of the castle have been built and re-built. Partially destroyed in a Jacobite uprising in 1719, Eilean Donan lay in ruins until it was bought in 1911, restored, and opened to visitors in 1932.
No stranger to the screen Eilean Donan has also been seen in Bonnie Prince Charlie (1948) with David Niven, The Master of Ballantrae (1953) with Errol Flynn, Loch Ness (1996), 1999 James Bond film The World Is Not Enough, as the setting for a fantasy number in 1998 Hindi romance Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Shekhar Kapur’s epic Elizabeth, The Golden Age but most famously in Highlander.
Until you get up close, that is. The entrance and the imposing main hall (with its ‘reindeer heads) are those of Broughton Castle, a moated 14th century Medieval castle which was much enlarged in 1550. The home of Lord and Lady Saye and Sele, it’s two miles southwest of Banbury, Oxfordshire, on the B40355 Shipston-on-Stour road. Broughton was the home of Viola in Shakespeare In Love, provided interiors for The Madness Of King George and appeared in Three Men And A Little Lady.
Its smaller rooms are Dorney Court, a Tudor manor house near Maidenhead in Berkshire. It was also seen onscreen as the home of the Earl of Arundel in Shekhar Kapur’s Elizabeth, with Cate Blanchett as the Virgin Queen, and then as the home of Sir Walter Raleigh in the same director’s follow-up Elizabeth, The Golden Age, as well appearing in the 2007 film of The Other Boleyn Girl, with Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman. It's also the house of explorer John Speke in Bob Rafelson’s 1989 Mountains of the Moon, and the country estate where Amanda Donohue is (apparently) murdered by John Hannah in Rob Walker’s 2000 Circus.
Still in England, the interior of the ‘Scottish’ church, where Hannah is all set to marry Colin, is St Mary’s Church, Edlesborough, between Luton and Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire.