An insult to the romantic comedy.
Let’s just start with this: I’m all one for romantic comedies. In fact, several of them are firmly ensconced on my all-time favorite list. At best, they are sweet and funny, and at worst they are usually harmless and uninspired. This one, however, is a whole ‘nother story.
In 27 Dresses, Katherine Heigl (Knocked Up, Grey’s Anatomy) stars as Jane, a perpetual bridesmaid who spends so much time being there for everyone else she never takes care of herself. A devotee to the weddings section in the paper, Jane has been a bridesmaid 27 times—even being the maid of honor twice in one night—but never has the guts to declare her love for her boss, the perfect and dreamy George (Ed Burns). And all this is fine with her, until her younger sister, Tess (Malin Akerman), catches George’s eye; that’s one wedding she’ll have a hard time putting on the taffeta for quietly.
The problems I have with 27 Dresses are many-fold. First, what brain surgeon thought that casting James Marsden (Hairspray, Enchanted) opposite Katherine Heigl was a good idea (he plays her alternate love interest, wedding-column writer Kevin)? For starters, she’s about 17 feet taller than him, which has the effect of totally negating how attractive he actually is. In fact, it makes him look like a child, which is funny—because he’s actually five years older than her. Also, they have zero chemistry, which, you know is kind of important what with the movie being a romantic comedy and all.
Second, what brain surgeon though the Heigl-Marsden pairing would look oh-so-frumpy opposite Malin Akerman (The Heartbreak Kid, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle) and Edward Burns (The Holiday, Saving Private Ryan)? Oh yeah, Heigl and Marsden—what uggos. And, of course, on behalf of all dark-haired women out there, can I just officially oppose the obligatory darkening of Heigl’s hair (to a caramel instead of bright blonde) to make us buy her as less attractive? Thank you.
But more than that, the movie is just sloppy. So terribly, terribly sloppy. At first, I thought the issue was just with the script, which I was shocked to discover was by Aline Brosh McKenna—the same woman who wrote The Devil Wears Prada. But then I realized that the problems were way larger than just including a scene where women fight for the bouquet toss (hello—I’m a 32-year-old woman who has been to my fair share of weddings, and let me just say that I have never seen a single woman do anything but run as fast as humanly possible in the opposite direction when they announce the bouquet toss). Sure, there are a couple of funny lines and moments here and there, but they are handily drowned out in a sea of bad timing, scenery chewing, and overtly fake sets (I dare you to believe Heigl and Marsden are actually driving in the rain).
“Director” Anne Fletcher can’t even manage to make her actors look good—there are shots (e.g. Heigl and Marsden in the post-wedding taxi cab) where they actually look sweaty. It is honestly ridiculous. Romantic comedies shouldn’t really be that hard to pull off—even a fairly paint-by-numbers version can be entertaining. But it’s insulting to audiences to try to pass off this piece of dreck as worth their time. The thing is, when you look up Fletcher’s filmography, you will see that she has a long history of working as a choreographer in Hollywood, but has only directed one other movie. And after seeing 27 Dresses, I have a message for Fletcher: Don’t quit your day job.