Back Rowe Reviews
Real Time Movie Reviews from the Back Row of a Theater

27 Dresses (PG-13)

Directed by: Anne Fletcher
Starring: Katherine Heigl
January 2008

“Adorable Heigl Anchors Standard Rom-com”

A woman who’s been a bridesmaid for twenty-seven friends longs for her own special day.

People pleasing Jane Nichols (Kathryn Heigl) denies her own happiness even to the extent that she plans her sister’s wedding to the man she’s madly in love with.

Creative Contributions:
As would be expected, there are a lot of dresses in the movie. As such, the costuming is hard to ignore when evaluating the movie’s production virtues. Additionally, there are some nice locations and a few interesting sets, apart from the movie’s many wedding/reception venues. However, there’s little else to talk about below the line. As the movie’s central figure, Jane is an interesting character study in what it’s like to be a human welcome mat, and Heigl’s pitch-perfect performance anchors the movie in charming and meaningful ways. The movie’s perfect man, Kevin (James Marsden), is, ironically, a jaded newspaper columnist who would rather be thrown from a plane without a parachute than get hitched (he refers to marriage as “the last legal form of slavery”). Of course we all know he’s eventually going to come around and that Jane will be the catalyst to opening his eyes to new horizons of love, but the process of how Kevin succumbs to one of Cupid’s arrows is half the fun of the movie. It’s a difficult role that easily could have been knocked off course by a tidal wave of smarminess or insincerity, but Marsden pulls it off in surprising fashion…surprising when you place this turn next to his groan-inducing performances in the X-Men movies. They say you can’t catch lightning in the same bottle twice. You would’ve expected that tapping the writer of box-office smash and critical darling The Devil Wears Prada, Aline Brosh McKenna, would have guaranteed a surefire hit here. Unfortunately, the sum of its parts doesn’t even come close to capturing the same movie magic that Prada had in spades.

27 Dresses is the old expression “Always a bridesmaid, never the bride” on speed. It’s a diverting, if overstated, look at how a cynical man and weak willed woman can fall in love and live happily ever after, and is, therefore, a modern fairy tale. Even though it’s as predictable as every other romantic comedy out there, 27 Dresses does feature a unique take on love and marriage and also has some engaging performances. In short, you should take in 27 Dresses.

Rating: 2 1/2