Monday, May 19, 2008

27 Dresses

2008, US, directed by Anne Fletcher

I don't expect a whole lot of innovation from a Hollywood romantic comedy: just like in any fairy tale, there's a template for success, and if you tweak it too much it's no longer a romantic comedy. For the most part, the destination isn't in any real doubt, so the pleasures are in the diversions along the way: the witty zingers, the big set-pieces and especially the great Hollywood character actors that fill in the roles of best friends, bosses, hairdressers and so forth (the one time I went to LA, I had more fun spotting those people than looking for the big stars).

The problem with 27 Dresses is that the snappy lines are too few and far between, and the sidekick roles are generally thankless (especially Judy Greer's role as the best office pal). For that matter, Katherine Heigl's central role isn't too rewarding, either: I think Heigl's a charming performer, but she's given very little to do here beyond running around frantically and dancing through the inevitable musical montages. Even by the standards of the genre, the set-up is also awfully hard to believe in: the film does little to portray Heigl as having the kind of social life that would lead her to be involved in 27 weddings, since she's so busy doing everything for her allegedly wonderful boss.

It's also hard to buy into the idea that Heigl is likely to be eclipsed by her pretty and pretty vacant younger sister, given her smarts and apparently ability to charm her way into any wedding party, but again, that's what we're asked to swallow (if Malin Akerman's performance was any more like Cameron Diaz's turn in In Her Shoes there would be a decent case for copyright infringement, though that's probably not Akerman's fault). I'd love to see Heigl break out of a short run of rather put-upon women and take on a brassier lead; she can carry much better movies than this one.


Natalia said...


Gareth said...

You mean, did you seriously watch this and write about it? Sure, whatever I see, I write about. Some I love, some not so much...


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Boston, Massachusetts, United States