'27 Dresses': Meet bridesmaidzilla
I wanted to like "27 Dresses," I really did. I have a soft spot a mile wide for romantic comedy, and Katherine Heigl is one of the most likeable young actresses out there.
Problem is, "27 Dresses" just doesn't live up to its hype - it is neither all that romantic, or terribly funny.
Heigl plays Jane, who can never say no - so her closet is jammed with 27 awful bridesmaid dresses from her friends' marriages, the embodiment of the cliche, "always a bridesmaid, never a bride."
Meanwhile, she is madly in love with her hunky - and single - boss, but never manages to work up the nerve to make a move. So, when Jane's wretched little sister Tess (Malin Akerman, also Lila in "The Heartbreak Kid") comes to town, she steals the boss (Ed Burns) for a painfully uncomfortable courtship, lying her way into his heart at an alarmingly rapid pace.
Of course, Tess then forces Jane to be her wedding planner, and once again, our heroine just can't stand up for herself.
In the process, as fate would have it, Jane gets hooked up with a cynical but persistently amorous newspaper wedding reporter (James Marsden), and their unforced, witty repartee almost saves the film - the kind of chemistry where two people like each other so much they can't help but annoy the stuffing out of each other.
The magic just isn't there, though... the idea of a romantic comedy is for the audience to fall in love with the characters. "27 Dresses" never gets there.
In this case, we are supposed to buy Katherine Heigl, the bombshell stuff of Grey's anatomical dreams, as the plain, unnoticed sister?
The movie has its good moments, decent acting tilts and a couple of chuckles, but it's very much a safe, formula movie - no surprises. It's a bit slow to get moving, and the end is utterly predictable.
Of course, people don't watch romantic comedy expecting the great or the unusual. They watch it for comforting reassurance that indeed, there is the perfect someone out there for everyone who will bump into them in some silly way if they are just patient enough (and, of course, if you are stunningly gorgeous and live in beautiful surroundings in expensive homes even though your career seems to require no more work than perhaps to fetch pastry for some handsome executive, or to write up vapid weddings fluff for an attractive big-city publisher.)
Oh well, "27 Dresses" isn't special, but it isn't awful, either. If you do see it, you might want to dab your little eyes and skip down to the video store to check out a few modern romantic comedies that really are above average:
I recommend "Wimbledon," "Sleepless in Seattle," "Sweet Home Alabama," "10 Things I Hate About You," "50 First Dates," "Failure to Launch," "Love Actually," "There's Something About Mary," "Shakespeare in Love," and maybe even the quirky not-for-kiddies "Chasing Amy."
* "27 Dresses," now showing at the Vista III in Storm Lake. Rated PG for some language and sexual themes. Run time: 107 minutes. Score: Two and a half stars out of five.