The Red Right Hand
  www.theredrighthand.co.uk





27 DRESSES
Always A Bridesmaid, Never A Bride

Director
Anne Fletcher

Starring
Katherine Heigl
James Marsden

This is the third wedding-based film I've been subjected to in the short space of three weeks. I honestly don't believe I can take any more of it. It's not the nature or subject of the film that bothers me, simply the fact that other than the titles and actors, the films follow the same paint-by-numbers formula, without the slightest deviation. As the animated end credits started up, a handful of ladies started gently crying to themselves; I'm fairly certain the cause was the film and not my malicious glaring, as if to say "I hate you, I hate this film and I hate everything it stands for! Get a life, weepy!" I don't even think they should admit cynical people like me to films like this. As I have stated, time and again, I'm not all bastard, not completely; I do have an immense and overwhelming soft side that allows me to enjoy many-a-girly film. 27 Dresses, however, is just plain pants.

Since she was a child, Jane [Heigl] has loved weddings; so much so that she now plans and helps everyone she knows with their special day. In total she has attended twenty seven weddings as bridesmaid, keeping a hideous collection of dresses in her closet. Turns out, this helpfulness is actually a deeply rooted psychological problem whereby Jane cannot help herself, placing others wellbeing before her own - the boss she's infatuated with, the sister who demands so much, etc. Of course, everything changes when her slutty, liar of a sister turns up and steals her unrequited love away and in typical fashion, she expects her sister to take care of all the wedding hassle. In addition to this, Jane is being (genuinely) stalked by New York Journal columnist, Kevin [Marsden] but it's alright because he's a cute stalker… not a real one with a receding hairline, stubble, blue anorak and a suspiciously old baseball cap (I saw one at my screening for bloody Juno).

Heigl did an alright job and is clearly sailing up in the ranks of the RomCom genre but other than that I was generally quite miffed with everyone on-screen. Edward Burns annoyed the piss out of me as her boss, George, everything about him was nauseating; as was Malin Akerman’s take on the sister, 'Bridezilla' - so they made a good couple. James Marsden's acting was actually commendable but I've gone into more detail below (see Highlighted Character). In the end the entire film was ridiculously lazy and predictable, to the extent that three separate montage sequences were flushed out before the movie's halfway mark. I am honestly having difficulty finding anything praiseworthy about this film other than Heigl's performance; it was just like Prime all over again.

But at least it's set in New York... so the film will go up by 1 point.

Release Date:
28th March 2008

The Scene To Look Out For:
During the interview between Kevin and Jane (after a dress montage) there is mention of the extents to which she will go to organise the perfect wedding. At which point she mentions using a US sealant called caulk. The conversation kind of went as follows:
Jane: "Oh yeah, I'm a really good caulker"
Kevin: [into dictaphone] "Likes caulk"
But to our British ears, the audience didn't hear caulk, they heard 'cock'. That tiny little mix of mistranslation and product placement led to the funniest moment in the film and the loudest reaction. Too bad it was non-intentional.

Notable Characters:
James Marsden plays the 'typical writer' in all the ways a screenwriter envisions them. You know, he's supposed to be dark, broody, angry, cynical, demanding "Give me another week!" to his editor. All of which can be very true and I must confess, on paper, they were simply describing me... except for the fact that I don't insist on wearing open-collared shirts, brown cord jackets and trainers everywhere I go! That and I'm no James Marsden. As previously stated, I thought Marsden did a pretty good job (just like in Enchanted; thankless role, well played) but his character was terrible! In the end I started pretending that Marsden was simply portraying his Cyclops role from X-Men; it would seem he didn't die during X3, he was put in the witness protection programme as writer Kevin Doyle. Unfortunately having that encounter with his dead Mrs left him a little crazy. Shame.

Highlighted Quote:
"I feel like I just found out my favourite love song was written about a sandwich"

In A Few Words:
"Predictable, stale, not one surprising or pleasing moment; need I go on?"

Total Score:
5/10


Matthew Stogdon