27 Dresses Review
It’s always a worry when a film seems to exist for the sole reason of promoting a new star, but that would seem to be the case with 27 Dresses, a formulaic, by the numbers romance that should really have been a contender to go straight to DVD. Katherine Heigl is the star in question, and after success on the small screen in Grey’s Anatomy she graduated to the silver screen in Knocked Up and now this is her Hollywood calling card, announcing to the world that she can carry a film on her own. Unfortunately on the evidence here she needs to pick her projects with a little more care if she aims to be in it for the long haul.
In 27 Dresses Heigl plays Jane Nicholls, a woman so cute as a button and sickly sweet that you want to slap her. She is the perennial bridesmaid and never the bride, 27 times so far and counting. She loves weddings and seems to be a guest at one every weekend, sometimes managing to fit in two on the same day. She is in love with her magazine owning boss (Edward Burns) and collects wedding articles written by hot shot reporter Kevin Doyle (James Marsden), but the wheels start to come off for her when her sexy sister arrives in town and sweeps her boss off of his feet and straight down the aisle.
Through a series of events so predictable you can almost hear the plot wheels turning Jane hooks up with Kevin, and it's animosity at first sight. Can they overcome his antipathy to marriage and her obsession with her boss? Well, what do you think? There is nothing to dislike, as such, in this movie other than its utter predictability and blandness. If you put a group of prepubescent girls in a room with a collection of Julia Roberts films and a collection of Barbie dolls they would eventually get around to writing this script. What is disappointing is the lack of any real comedy or romance. When you realise that screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna also gave us The Devil Wears Prada you begin to see what a wasted opportunity this was. Where Devil had acerbic wit and genuinely funny, bitchy lines 27 Dresses settles for inane psycho babble on the nature of marriage and a heroine who wouldn’t be out of place in a Disney cartoon.
As is often the way in these films supporting characters are often more interesting than the main protagonists, and here Judy Greer, as Jane’s best friend and co-worker, gets the majority of the best lines and injects a healthy dose of the cynical comedy so badly lacking elsewhere. Edward Burns is sadly devoid of any detectable sex appeal which makes her infatuation with him all the more mystifying and the outcome of the film all the more predictable. If one good thing does come out of this it’s the fact that James Marsden comes across as a great comic actor, showing real charm and comic timing, although even he cant save one of the most cringe worthy group singing scenes in living memory.
For little girls this is probably wish fulfilment heaven, for the rest of us it’s a sickly sweet concoction that seems to wallow in its own predictability and is probably best reserved for a first date movie.