Each year seems to bring more and more films released into theaters that do nothing short of underwhelm and disappoint. The genre that seems to top this list, besides horror, is the comedy-drama. Or as some in the business call it, dramedy.
For this reason, I have made a point to avoid the majority of these releases. But recently, in a screening of the new dramedy 27 Dresses, I was pleasantly surprised. And being a person who does not like movies that are billed as “chick flicks,” it is a big deal that I put my stamp of approval on this film.
The premise of 27 Dresses plays on the old formula of a woman hopelessly in love with a man who views her as nothing more than a friend and employee. Jane, played by Katherine Heigl, has been a bridesmaid in 27 weddings throughout her life. It’s what she excels at. But when it comes to her own love life, she doesn’t have the guts to let her boss know that she is uncontrollably in love with him.
Once the perfect moment arrives to let him know, Jane’s sister Tess, played by a less than impressive Malin Akerman, blocks her sister and starts a romantic fling with this man that is painted as being perfect. Things quickly evolve as Tess learns more about Jane’s boss and fakes her personality. This eventually leads to an engagement. Enter Jane’s worst nightmare: being asked to be a bridesmaid in her 28th wedding – but this time for a union she despises and cannot morally allow on the grounds of her sister being fake.
While the inner struggle rages on for Jane, a journalist looking for his big break from writing wedding stories finds out about Jane’s unusual bridesmaid pasttime. Kevin, played by James Marsden, basically stalks Jane in hopes of getting her to open up for a story about her 27 wedding experiences. And as the two eventually meet, some sparks start to fly and Jane opens up.
As things start to look up, Kevin’s article hits the papers and Jane is portrayed as hopeless and unable to deal with her lack of a love life. She swears Kevin off and falls even deeper into a funk. Meanwhile, instead of feeling happy about moving his writing to the next level, Kevin feels awful for what he did to Jane…Because he loves her.
This is where I end the story telling. Because, hey, there has to be something left to watch, right? Make your guesses and see how Jane deals with the impending wedding of her sister and boss and how Kevin deals with his guilt and love for Jane. I went to this movie expecting to be greatly disappointed and never entertained. But the writing was well done and the acting abilities of Heigl and Marsden played off each other perfectly. Overall, this was a film that impressed me. So if you are a woman, you will most likely love it. And if you are a man, this is the perfect movie to pay your dues to your significant other, because the torture will be almost nonexistent.
The lowest point of this film is the acting of Akerman, who is supposed to be beautiful, but looks more like she had her face smashed in. A note to Hollywood: just because you bleach someone’s hair blonde does not mean they are automatically attractive.
Heigl and Marsden made a good choice picking this movie and they shined in their roles. And writer, Aline Brosh McKenna, who also wrote The Devil Wears Prada and Laws of Attraction, deserves praise for writing a script for a film that both men and women can watch and enjoy, because that’s not an easy task.
When all is said and done, I propose an overall rating of B+ for 27 Dresses. I also feel that I should now make a confession: I did listen to the Indigo Girls while I wrote this review.