Say ‘I do’ to ‘27 Dresses’

Fri, 01/25/2008 - 9:53am
By: Emily Baldwin

“27 Dresses” isn’t your typical romantic-comedy chick-flick. Well, at least not entirely. In fact, my expectations were off-mark about what the film was and where it would go, and for that I’m quite grateful.

Jane, played effervescently by Katherine Heigl, is the perfect bridesmaid. After discovering a passion for perfect nuptials at an early age, Jane has mastered the art of being every bride’s best asset on her most important day. So much so, in fact, that Jane has been a bridesmaid 27 times.

Jane has imagined the perfection of her own special day, down to the finest details. She’s even found the man of her dreams – her boss George (Edward Burns). He’s handsome and charming, successful and philanthropic, kind and...completely oblivious of her interest in him.

When Jane’s sister, Tess (Malin Akerman), comes to stay with her “for a week or two,” her visit is extended after meeting George. The two fall instantly in love with one another, completely unaware how their relationship is affecting Jane.

The kicker comes when Tess asks Jane to plan her wedding for her. Jane’s never said no to any bridal friend, so how can she say no to her sister? Even if she is marrying Jane’s perfect man.

Meanwhile Kevin O’Doyle (James Marsden) – the most sought after wedding columnist at the New York Journal – is looking for a way to write his way out of the “Commitments” section of the paper. When he meets Jane and discovers her lengthy bridal history, he proposes an expose about Jane to his boss. While their relationship blooms, Jane has no idea about Kevin’s ulterior motives.

What I expected to be a cutesy rom-com about a girl who is the quintessential “always a bridesmaid, never a bride” in fact turned out to have at least a little more depth than that.

Heigl is great as Jane, the sweet and efficient heroine, who knows just how to make everyone else comfortable – even at her own expense. While Heigl has most recently been praised for her role as Doctor Izzie Stevens on “Grey’s Anatomy” as well as her hilarious turn in the surprise, summer hit “Knocked Up,” Heigl has a long history of work, beginning when she was just 14 years old.

Marsden, who had a big year in 2007 (“Hairspray” and “Enchanted”), plays the cynical wedding columnist Kevin O’Doyle with just the right amounts of sardonic wit and undeniable charm. I’m glad to see Hollywood cast someone other than Matthew McConaughey or Orlando Bloom as the lead in a rom-com, even if Marsden isn’t completely outside the Hollywood Hunks society. Akerman’s portrayal as the self-absorbed Tess irks you in all the right ways to make Jane’s impending meltdown all that more deserved.

Overall, I was surprised at how many dark, emotional moments there were. At quite a few points I actually found myself feeling really badly for Jane and wishing she would stand up for herself. In the end, “27 Dresses” is a romantic comedy, but the heart of the film is heavier than what you might expect.


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