27 Dresses (2008) dir. Anne Fletcher
Starring: Katherine Heigl, James Marsden, Ed Burns, Judy Greer, Malin Akerman
“27 Dresses” is a tier 2 quality romantic comedy playing off of the usual conventions, characters and situations of the genre – beautiful people who can’t find love, various weddings are attended, confusions and deceptions abound which unnecessarily complicate matters, and of course many many costume changes. Only the red hot star power of Grey’s Anatomy’s Katherine Heigl makes this watchable.
Katherine Heigl plays Jane Nichols as “dressed down” by sporting a brown hair dye job instead of her usual golden blonde do. She's not fooling anyone though, she’s still one of the most gorgeous women on the planet. But in the world of cinema she's an ugly-duckling,who's hot blonde sister, Tess (Malin Akerman) always steals her thunder. Kevin Doyle (James Marsden) is a writer who covers NYC weddings in a popular newspaper column. When he discovers Jane is the bridesmaid Queen of New York he decides to do an undercover story on her.
A Bridget Jones dynamic is set up between Heigl, Marsden and Ed Burns' characters. Burns is Katherine’s boss George whom she pines after pathetically. But Kevin is the guy she’s really in love with but doesn’t know it yet. Add some of “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and you have the mongrel concoction of “27 Dresses”
Marsden and Heigl spend so much time either avoiding or arguing with each other they don’t even realize they’re falling in love. There’s the usual act of deception, Kevin as an undercover writer, which we all know will come back to haunt him and cause conflict. Before the inevitable hectic wedding finale, there'll be an inadvertant mistake from Kevin which will further upset Jane. And it will take a hopelessly romantic public act of affection to win Jane's love back.
Other than Heigl's girl-next-door magnetism, Judy Greer is the other welcomed face. She's officially the new Joan Cusack having appeared as the perky best friend in "The Wedding Planner" and "13 Going on 30", and you could even count "Elizabethtown" onto that list. Greer's equivalent character for Marsden is also played well by "30 Rock's" Maulik Pancholy.
"27 Dresses" is a formula film, and there's nothing wrong with that, but unfortunately not much humour is derived from the formula - just over-familiarity.