Predictable and Uninteresting 27 Dresses
By Kristin Battestella
I don’t like romantic comedies and all that Sex and the City like. Strange then, that I found myself up at 2 a.m. watching this 2008 romance from ‘The producers of The Devil Wears Prada’. It’s already a bad sign for 27 Dresses if the powers that be need to plug their other movie ahead of it. Perhaps it was the adorability of James Marsden or the hope that maybe, just maybe this would be the one romantic comedy that would be different. I was wrong.
Katherine Heigl (Grey’s Anatomy) stars as Jane, a mild mannered and bridesmaid obsessed woman in love with her unnoticing boss George (Edward Burns). Jane and her loose pal Casey (Judy Greer) are noticed by commitments writer Kevin (Marsden). Kevin is supposed to be covering the wedding of George to Jane’s hot younger sister Tess (Malin Akerman), but instead he writes a piece on perpetual bridesmaid Jane.
Yadda, yadda, yadda. Writers are tough enough to find onscreen, and they are usually pegged as drunk or otherwise addicted or obsessive and neurotic or up to no good for their stories. Haven’t we seen the undercover writer who regrets his work once he’s found love before? Isn’t that Runaway Bride? I can’t fault the cast, although I still think of My Father, The Hero before I think of Katherine Heigl’s new, popular work. She’s cute and talented enough I suppose, as is quirky character player Judy Greer (Arrested Development). But I feel like I already saw this movie from the last time I tried to watch a romantic comedy, See Jane Date.
I did have a James Marsden (X-Men, Superman Returns) phase many years ago, but I’ve yet to see if he has anything beyond the singing hunk with a touch of sensitivity or attitude as needed. Likewise Edward Burns (who actually hasn’t done much since Saving Private Ryan) is the typical rugged sexy successful guy. TV veteran Brian Kerwin also has too little to do here as Jane and Tessa’s hardworking dad. We don’t get to see the men in the ladies’ live enough because writer Aline Brosh McKenna spent so much of the story on the stupid twenty seven dresses. Now that I know she’s writing the new Fame movie, I don’t know I want to see that one.
Choreopgrapher Anne Fletcher (Hairspray) gives us nothing new for the cast or the movie. We have an obligatory photo montage and a bar singing sequence after the two leads are stranded together during a thunderstorm on a dark lonely road. The breaking point between sisters Jane and Tessa is obviously followed by a public humiliation, then the discovery of who Jane is really in love with! 27 Dresses ends with the public declaration of love and of course, a wedding. Hepburn and Tracy this is not. When are we going to see a romantic comedy about quirky, messed up people that is so realistic it makes us weep? No one in real life behaves like they do in 27 Dresses.
I’m not really sure who 27 Dresses is for. Even romance addicts must get tired of the same story over and over. Fans of the cast will of course tune in, but I’ve seen them in better. And although I may claim to hate romantic comedies, I’ll take The Ghost and Mrs. Muir any day. For your sanity and mine, skip 27 Dresses.