Movie Review: 27 Dresses (2008)

Posted: October 8, 2013 in Comedy, Romance
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27-Dresses

 

Jane (Katherine Heigl) loves weddings.  She has loved weddings when she saved her cousin’s wedding by sewing a bow on her dress when it tore in a very embarrassing location.  Ever since then, she’s been a bridesmaid in at least 27 weddings, and has a closet full of ugly dresses to prove it.  While attending her second wedding in the same night, Jane gets knocked cold by stampeding women fighting to catch the bridal bouquet, and wakes up to a handsome New York City newspaper reporter named Kevin (James Marsden) lingering over her.  Kevin is stuck writing in the style section about weddings, but really hates weddings and would rather write about anything else. Kevin gets an idea for an article when he sees Jane at both weddings.  What kind of woman would attend so many weddings as a bridesmaid?

Jane is not thinking of Kevin, or any other man, for that matter, except one, her boss,  George (Edward Burns)  Just as Jane is thinking of telling George that she wants to end the collegial work relationship, and enter into a romantic relationship, George meets Jane’s sister, Tess, (Malin Akerman) and falls madly in love with her, much to Jane’s chagrin. Tess is not telling George the truth about herself, she is not a vegetarian, she doesn’t like pets, she hates kids, and Jane knows all this.  But being the dutiful, wedding-loving sister, Jane goes on planning Tess’ wedding.  Kevin is tagging along with Jane, and his cover story is that he’s writing about Tess’ wedding, but he’s really gathering facts for his story on Jane.  At the same time, he’s developing feelings for Jane, so much so that he tells his editor to delay running the ‘Jane is a serial bridesmaid’ story.  Does the editor listen?  Do Jane’s feelings for George compel her to tell George that Tess is just pretending to like, dogs, kids and tofu? Can Jane have feelings for anyone but George?

I like this movie.  Sure, the premise is based on a cliché, always a bridesmaid, but never a bride, but there are a lot of complex  feelings intertwined in this seemingly light movie.  Jane has a simple dream of getting married, in her mother’s wedding dress to her boss, but that dream is flattened by her sister. Does she take revenge?  Kevin hates weddings, why?  The answer is very clearly laid out.  There’s the usual, ‘these two characters don’t like each other’ routine, but is the ending predictable?  Not as predictable as many in this genre. The sibling rivalry between sisters adds a layer that is usually missing in rom coms. It’s hard to believe that Heigl’s character is not dating regularly, but that is mitigated somewhat by the fact that she is carrying a torch for her boss, who she views as unattainable.

The acting is very good, Heigl has a lot of emotional baggage in this movie and handles the role well, she’s sad about her mom’s death, she’s happy for her friends who get married, she’s over the moon for her boss, and broken-hearted and jealous when her sister takes it all away.  Heigl underplays the role well.  There are reports that she’s a diva and hard to work with, but she made a little magic in this movie.  I thought she’d be making movies like this forever, but then came the regrettable The Ugly Truth, and the even more regrettable One For The Money, and now she is box office poison.  James Marsden was also very good, he makes a good comic foil for Heigl and they have some witty banter together.  It’s nice to see Edward Burns in this movie, I’m used to seeing him in low budget indie type movies which he writes himself, nice to see him in a more conventional role.

The writing is crisp, no dead spots, the pacing is good, and the songs in this movie are really good. Good songs can add so much to a movie.  This movie has songs from Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, Michael Buble, Corinne Bailey Ray, Natasha Bedingfield, and who can forget Heigl and Marsden singing “Benny and the Jets,” that was certainly the high point of the movie for me.  But don’t look for the soundtrack, you will get the score and be disappointed.  But there is nothing disappointing about this film.  Watch it and see.

27 Dresses. Dressed for success.

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