In Made of Honor, Michelle Monaghan plays a witty, artistic, and beautiful woman, who, when she gets engaged, asks her best friend to be her maid of honor. That best friend just happens to be a man. It's a case of art imitating life, given that when the actress got married in 2005, her "maid" of honor was also a man. She told USA Today that when she read the script she said, "I know all about this! Sign me up!"
When Julia Roberts took her turn as the "best man" in 1997's My Best Friend's Wedding, the idea of men and women flouting convention in their choice of wedding attendants was a bit more novel than now. Once upon a time the idea of a man and a woman having a relationship that wasn't primarily driven by some sort of sexual attraction was strange. Society just didn't create the environment for it. The male and female spheres were distinct to the extent that home and hearth (and marriage and sex) was the locus of most engagement between the sexes.
But now men and women go to school together, compete against each other from early ages, supervise and work alongside one another in the workplace. I'm not implying that sexual attraction isn't a significant factor in relationships between people, but there is now a vast social landscape of shared experiences in which relationships between men and women can take root and grow into important and abiding friendships. I've been to a number of weddings in the last few years that have featured men and women on both sides of the bride and groom.
Of course, it's also true that you might be in love with your best friend.
And in Made of Honor, this is the case. Patrick Dempsey, of Grey's Anatomy and Dr. McDreamy fame, plays Tom, an incorrigible womanizer who meets Hannah (Monaghan) in college ...1