27 Dresses


Directed by: Anne Fletcher
Written by:Aline Brosh McKenna
Starring: Katherine Heigl, James Marsden, Edward Burns, Judy Greer, Malin Akerman
Released: January 10, 2008
Grade: B+

Ever since she was a young girl, Jane (Heigl) has loved weddings.  She keeps newspaper clippings of wedding photos and reports.  She has attended the ceremonies and receptions of her many friends.  Plus, as the title reveals, she has been a bridesmaid at 27 different weddings.  Jane has kept every one of her bridesmaid dresses and they are stuffed into a cupboard in her New York apartment.

Now the thing is, Jane has never been married herself.  How is it that someone as nice and good looking as Jane can’t find a boyfriend?  It’s a good question which has been bugging me for months (since I first saw the trailer).  It turns out that she spends so much time helping others that she doesn’t have time to focus on her own life.  Further, she does have a crush on someone but it’s her boss, George (Burns).  Jane has never had the guts to reveal her true feelings for fear of ruining her career.

Her busy lifestyle is turned on its head when her youngster sister, Tess (Akerman), comes to stay with her for a few weeks.  Tess is a model who is in between assignments.  Jane asks Tess to come along to a work function but it turns out to be a bad idea.  Tess and George are introduced and… end up spending the night together.

Within weeks, Tess and George are engaged to be married and Jane has been asked to help plan it.  Jane doesn’t know what to do.  She’s planning the wedding for a man she’s hopelessly in love with but unfortunately, she’s not the bride.  What’s she going to do?  To further complicate the situation, Jane is being pursued by a very determined writer named Kevin (Marsden).  All he wants is a chance but Jane is too busy to oblige.

I do have issues with the film’s premise.  When you break it down, it’s all a bit too far-fetched and nothing like this could ever happen in reality.  Well, maybe it could and I’m just a non-romantic.  Jane somehow goes to two weddings in one night by shuttling back and forth in a taxi.  Who would do this and how does she go undetected?  When George meets Tess, he “pops the question” seemingly within a week.  How could someone as sensible as George do something so hasty and not realise that Tess is such a ditz?

If you’re prepared to go along with the story (and I did my best to do so), then 27 Dresses is an entertaining romantic comedy.  The key is the performance of star Katherine Heigl (Knocked Up).  She shares some great scenes in particular with James Marsden (Enchanted) where they open up about their thoughts on marriage and weddings.  There’s something about her facial expressions and the way she delivers her lines that makes her both real and likeable.  That’s more than I can say for the female lead in pretty much every other romantic comedy I see.

It follows a familiar formula and satisfies the definition of a “chick flick” but 27 Dresses is still good fun.