Review: 27 Dresses

Posted on March 13, 2008

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Picture courtesy: vh1.com

GROOM WITH A VIEW

A perennial bridesmaid looks for Mr. Right in a rom-com that isn’t as bad as it sounds.

MAR 16, 2008 – WATCHING THE PERFECTLY UNDISTINGUISHED – yet perfectly agreeable – 27 Dresses, I think I finally understood why we see so few straight-out romantic dramas these days: it’s because all the interesting boy-meets-girl ideas are being dreamed up by screenwriters who prefer romantic comedies instead. Jane (Katherine Heigl) is a serial bridesmaid – for the exact number of satiny costumes she’s wiggled into at best friends’ weddings, refer title – whose idea of relaxation involves curling up with Bride magazine, so you don’t have to be told how she feels when her younger sister (Malin Akerman) appears to be heading to the altar before her, that too with the man she’s in love with (Edward Burns is improbably cast as this dreamboat of desire). Kevin (James Marsden), meanwhile, is understandably jaundiced about commitment, considering his wife dumped him and ran off with his college roommate – and because bad things to good people always happen in multiples, he’s reduced to writing columns about, well, commitment, for a newspaper’s wedding section. Can’t you see what a romantic drama could do with this concept, with these lacerated souls longing for love?

But 27 Dresses is a romantic comedy, and so the answer is: nothing much that you cannot guess, oh, about three scenes ahead. This is a formula outing in every sense of the word, where the girl ignores the man so meant for her as she makes droopy eyes at the man so not meant for her, until she realises… Actually, why am I bothering with details of the plot in something so head-hittingly obvious – where the heroine has been carefully named to reflect her apparent plainness (apparent, because if the luminous Heigl is what passes for plain these days, the rest of us can just put a shotgun to our temples already), and where a slideshow of a couple being happy together is underscored by… The Turtles’ Happy Together? But being predictable isn’t the same as being boring, and given that it wants to be not much more than a white-laced wedding-fantasy video, 27 Dresses isn’t as bad as you’d think. The leads work well together, and Judy Greer has a high old time as The Heroine’s Wisecracking Best Friend. (She moans to fellow-bridesmaid Jane at a wedding, “The only reason to wear this monstrous dress is so that some drunken groomsman can rip it to shreds with his teeth.”) As for male readers bristling at this somewhat recommendation of what is clearly a chick flick, all I can say is: Oh come on. It’s not as if all the other films you watched and loved – DDLJ, say, or pretty much anything toplined by SRK – are beer-swilling, backslapping celebrations of testosterone.

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Posted in: Cinema: English