January 28, 2008

27 Blehs

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For better or for worse, 27 Dresses struts down the narrow aisle between romantic comedy cliché and romantic comedy, well, romance and comedy. At its best, the film is genuinely sweet, somewhat subtle and kind of funny. At worst, it feels not dissimilar from the 27 other films — like the 27 other weddings — in this generally archetypal genre.

Katherine Heigl is Jane. She’s a rather plain, but extraordinarily sweet, Jane with a harmful devotion to others’ happiness. That’s because, despite owning a colorful array 27 different pink, yellow and green bridesmaid dresses, she desperately longs for one in white. She also yearns for a wedding as romantic as those described by her favorite writer, Kevin (James Marsden — who, in an almost laughable side note, was recently Prince Charming in Enchanted).

Unfortunately, through all of those weddings, Jane has yet to find Mr. Right. But she does have a mega-crush on her hunky boss, George (Edward Burns), a super-rich, vegetarian philanthropist. Soon, Jane’s pretty and bitchy fashion model sister — just like a character on America’s Next Top Model — Tess (Malin Akerman, playing more or less the same role as in The Heartbreak Kid) comes home from Fashion Week in Milan and steals George away through various acts of connivery and deception — watch out George, she secretly loves hamburgers! Of course, Jane’s too sweet to oust her sister, because she could never say no to her, and never, ever say no to George.

Then watch the plot thicken. Kevin shows up to cover George and Tess’s marriage and — here is where you can easily guess what happens if you have ever seen, let’s say, hmm, how about Never Been Kissed — Jane falls for Kevin.

Trouble ensues; everything isn’t as it seems for Jane, the perpetual bridesmaid. A few tears are shed but, needless to say, eventually everything works out for the best. Despite its predictability, this charming movie married a grin to my face through the rich and the poor, through sickness and health and only after the credits did my smile and I part.