Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

There's nothing particularly wrong with this movie really. I mean it's a romantic comedy and you get what you get, but that's all you get. It stars Katherine Heigl who's tall and blonde and pretty and has a great figure and a speaking voice that is just slightly higher pitched than Kathleen Turner's voice. Mathew Mardsen is our hero who is also tall and handsome with pearly white teefes and a cleft in his chin. It has Judy Greer who co-stars as the far less attractive, shrill but funny sidekick to our statuesque lead - a character these types of movies simply can't do without. I don't believe this is an insult Miss Greer, who is a Detroit homegirl by the way, but she knows she got the role because she's funny and makes Katherine Heigl appear better looking than she already is. '27 Dresses' gives you everything that lovers of Romantic Comedies could possibly want from a romantic comedy and it makes absolutely no effort to give you anything more than that.

From an early age Jane (Heigl) knew that her goal in life was to make everybody else's life easier. Her mom died when she was just a child leaving her to care for her dad Hal (Brian Kerwin) and baby sister Tess (Malin Ackerman). As an adult this has manifested itself in her helping her various friends in their various wedding dilemmas to the tune of 27 times, though her ultimate dream is her own happy wedding. At one particular wedding Jane is knocked unconscious by an overly aggressive bouquet toss, but brought around by the cynical, marriage hating but handsome cleft chinned Kevin (Mardsen). Obviously the two don't get along, but whatever. Now if a woman looks like Jane and doesn't have a man or a husband we would have to assume that it is because she chooses not to, which is fairly accurate because Jane is madly in love with her dashing boss George (Ed Burns) who unfortunately doesn't see Jane quite that way.

Turns out that the cynical Kevin, he with the cleft chin, writes the marriage page for the local paper, under a psuedonym, which Jane just loves, but he desires to be a 'real' writer and when Jane leaves her planner in the cab they shared he has the perfect story about the woman who is always the perennial bridesmaid. Turns out that Jane's little sister Tess has grown into an equally beautiful woman, but is a bit lacking on the morality side of things. But when she meets Boss George at a party, the sparks fly and a whirlwind romance eventually turns into a planned wedding much to the destruction of Janes ego. Turns out Tess told George a bunch of untruths to make him fall in love with her. Turns out that there's a reason that Cleft Chinned Kevin hates marriages so much. Turns out that Kevin and Jane seem to be falling in love with each other. Turns out we've been watching a run of the mill Romantic Comedy.

Directed by Anne Fletcher (also a Detroit homegirl) and written by Aline Bosch McKenna, both women, I was kinda hoping that '27 Dresses' would do something, I don't know, different. Most of these things are written and directed by men so the hope was there. Most men don't know jack about being a bridesmaid, but that's pretty much where anything remotely unique came to a screeching halt. Obviously when we meet Jane and Kevin, we know they are going to fall in love. That's a given. It's the journey to this eventuality that I was kind of hoping for something a little off the well beaten path. The moment the adult Tess shows up on the scene, convention dictates that she will steal away George from Jane. Convention wins. When Kevin begs his editor (Melora Hardin) to write a story about Jane, convention dictates that they will montage their way to something close to love. Convention wins. When the editor says she loves the story and she's going run it, and Kevin begs her to give him another week so he can warn her about the story, Convention dictates that he's not getting that week. Convention dictates that she will read the story, but not until she's given it up. Convention wins again. and again. and again. And one more time again.

My favorite RomCom is 'You've got Mail' which pretty much follows this same convention, but that movie is ten years old and starred Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan with Dave Chappelle as the funny less attractive friend. Heigl, Mardsen and Greer were certainly fine in this film, they just weren't those three. The thing is, since I'm not the biggest romcom guy, this film has the task to win me over from a place where I'm not loving it even before it came on, and it didn't do that. To the contrary, if you absolutely love romcoms, the film has the much easier task of not losing you within the course of its running time, and I don't think it will. If you like romantic comedies, even paint by numbers romantic comedies such as '27 Dresses', chances are you'll like this one too. I just wouldn't have minded something a little bit different.

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