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Overall Rating
2.21

Awesome: 4.65%
Worth A Look: 4.65%
Average: 18.6%
Pretty Bad51.16%
Total Crap: 20.93%

5 reviews, 13 user ratings



27 Dresses
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by Eugene Novikov

"Movie may not be worth your time, but Heigl's a star."
3 stars

Now here is a movie you can safely ignore, a perfectly formulaic and bland rom-com that female moviegoers across the land will describe to their friends and "cute" and then never think about again. You won't miss much if you choose to let 27 DRESSES come and go this month -- except perhaps the unassuming starring debut of a comedienne who, I suspect, will soon become a Hollywood powerhouse. Katherine Heigl -- previously underutilized in Knocked Up -- is so charming, so effortlessly funny, that it's easy to imagine her achieving astronomical popularity in the vein of Julia Roberts. And if you do plunk down ten bucks for 27 Dresses, you may find yourself in the same position as the Julia Roberts fans who saw Mystic Pizza in 1988. You'll be able to say that you knew Heigl when.

If we're talking talent rather than the irrational whims of the moviegoing public, Heigl is actually at a considerable advantage over Roberts, since her gifts aren't limited to beaming stupidly at the male lead. Blessed with prodigious comic timing, a gift for physical humor, obvious intelligence, and instinctive sympathy, she has all the chops of Catherine O'Hara and Parker Posey, and a lot more potential star power. Which of those qualities she chooses to use is up in the air, and possibly up to her agents. For all its problems, 27 Dresses isn't a bad showcase for Heigl, and unless I miss my guess it should make her into a bankable proposition.

The film divides neatly into two halves, one that works and another that not only fails on its own terms but actively works to undermine everything else. In the former, Jane (Heigl) has spent years nursing a crush on her hunky boss (Ed Burns) and now has to deal with her slutty sister (Malin Akerman) showing up and manipulating him into proposing to her. Worse, this is merely the latest slight in a life spent uncomplainingly delaying her own gratification for the sake of others' (hence the film's gimmick -- Jane has been 27 times a bridesmaid, never a bride). That's potent stuff, and the film effectively conceals sadness and pain under a comic facade. This is also the part where Heigl gets to shine, as she somehow makes Jane's agony into brilliantly awkward comedy. At one point, Jane is furiously cleaning the stove and her sister waltzes in to brag about the amazing night she had with Jane's crush; Heigl's manic reaction to this is a wonderful, classic moment.

The other half of 27 Dresses -- the bad half -- belongs to James Marsden, who discards the goodwill he accumulated via his amusingly self-effacing performances in Hairspray and Enchanted. His job in in the film is to run the oldest play in the rom-com playbook: the role of the guy (or girl) who initiates a relationship under false pretenses (usually as part of a bet or, as in this case, to write an article about it) but winds up actually falling in love. Inevitably this leads to a teary confrontation, eventual forgiveness, and a happy ending. It represents, to my mind, the worst of the genre's penchant for cloying excess; does no one remember Roman Holiday, which resolved the same plot with a measure of grace? Here, the insistence on the formula is even more detrimental than usual, since the indignities that the screenplay inflicts on Jane in dragging her to a happy ending run counter to the affecting, vaguely feminist message it comes up with in resolving the other plot.

I hated the movie's ending, perhaps because I actually came to care about some of what it had built up. 27 Dresses is more respectable than much modern romantic comedy fare, and Katherine Heigl intermittently manages to make it fun. But in the end it turns out to be standard stuff, and depressingly so.

(Reprinted from Filmblather.com)

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=16833&reviewer=419
originally posted: 01/18/08 19:11:08
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User Comments

7/28/17 Bob Dog Hilarious ROM-COM, I loved this one! 5 stars
7/06/11 art Katherine didn't fit in most of Them! 2 stars
2/14/11 art this is a DRESS that does not fit!!!! 1 stars
11/27/08 little Red just like every other romance movie 2 stars
9/08/08 Carol Durbin It was okay, had a cute parts but not the best work I have seen from her. 3 stars
6/18/08 PAUL SHORTT LITTLE MORE THAN A DOLLED UP MANNEQUIN 1 stars
5/18/08 caiphn Watched this on the airplane, absolutely horrid. Dumb girls gush for Katherine. 1 stars
4/12/08 Katie I enjoyed this one. I thought it was funny. 4 stars
3/02/08 Theresa Wagner I liked it, its a chick flick, Katherine is a gifted actress 4 stars
2/13/08 elisa perkins Blah. Nuf said 2 stars
2/09/08 Sully Yawn, airplane movie 2 stars
2/03/08 Alina This movie was amazing. 5 stars
1/21/08 Jayson Katherine is finally a star. 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  18-Jan-2008 (PG-13)
  DVD: 29-Apr-2008

UK
  27-Mar-2008 (12)

Australia
  10-Jan-2008 (PG)




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