27 Dresses (2008)

I am always up for re-visiting (one of) my favorite romantic-comedy, so today that is exactly what I decided to do. Most of the blockbusters I’ve enjoy aren’t mainstream critics’ idea of a good time. 27 Dresses did not receive favorable approval at its press tours, however since romantic comedies often find a place among my collection (as do other genres, I promise), this was a must-see. Here from the screenwriters of Devil Wears Prada and director Anne Fletcher is how Hollywood identifies a young woman who “lives” the ever popular “always a bridesmaid never a bride” motto.

Her first taste of a how magical a wedding can be came at a young age when Jane, her sister Tess and their single father attended a family wedding. Years go by and Jane (Katherine Heigl) is still that same practical, sweet and pleasing girl. She fills in for the last-minute bridal fittings of friends, arranges the table settings and is always around for last minute details. Jane’s own love life however is in disarray. She has been secretly in love with her boss George (Edward Burns) for years. Her best friend Casey (Judy Greer) prods her to tell him yet Jane keeps her feelings in a box. TAs Jane struggles to come to terms with her secret loves new interest, she meets Kevin (James Marsdan) a writer who covers the commitments section of the paper. Tgat is the least of Jane’s worries though when her gorgeous sister Tess (Malin Akerman) shows up and steals George’s attention…

The events that happen are sometimes silly, but ultimately end on a sweet conclusion that leaves a smile in place. Nothing from Hollywood is perfect and this is likewise flawed, but it has heart and in due course we feel good about character’s choices. All four of the main characters have flaws and I think the screenwriters did a nice job of showing that. None of us are perfect, so when we see a movie that depicts a “perfect” people, it is unrealistic. Jane’s imperfections are more easily realized even though she still has things that she must cope with. Kevin’s biggest problem is his cynicism about marriage asking “is it really worth it for something that has a 50/50 chance of making it?” After being in twenty-seven weddings as a bystander, Jane is opposite in every way, she is a romantic who knows what she someday wants.

Much as the film is about the romance, it's also about sisters and the fragile bond between them. Despite Jane wanting to be certain George knew Tess for who she really was and not for who she appeared to be, it was brought on by bitter feelings and in the end, everyone learns something they carry with them into the future. I liked how the relationships were resolved or in some cases not. Some were left with the promise of “more” and another wasn’t declared as love (really that is going to happen after a series of misshapen meetings…? I don’t think so) but instead the possibility of it.

Being from the screenwriters of The Devil Wears Prada and director of Step Up (two films I favor), I was curious about this film. This isn’t unique nor did the script spin a fresh weave. There is the general plot of boy-meets-girl, sparks fly, they get mad, and break-up before anything can be resolved. But there is a fairy-tale quality to it also. In the opening sequence we are treated to a…wedding (what else?! And, we aren’t just exposed to one… or two, but three!) It makes for a humorous beginning and had me laughing five minutes into the film. A favorite scene comes when Kevin appears at Jane’s apartment and we are enlightened to a first glimpse of a blossoming relationship. What I liked so much about the scene is its kept sweet; it was one of those that could have been really dirtied up but wasn’t. The scene in which Jane finally lands her guy is also touching and there were a few times that I almost cried (I know – that might be excessive). By the conclusion we have hope that certain characters will have their chance at redeemed love and that in itself is refreshing. It isn’t perfect, but I’d recommend it. 

The greatest incentive? If has an ending that leaves you believing in happily-ever after.
(27 Dresses is rated PG13. Uses of “sh*t,” “b*tch” along with various other strong profanity is common. The f-word is even almost uttered twice; once a bride begins to say it before she realizes there is a child present, another time Jane uses it, but it’s drowned out by a loud noise. Casey has a cavalier attitude about sex and relationships. All of which is conducive to a PG13. Various characters drink and once Jane and Kevin get drunk, afterwards it’s implied they have a sexual encounter in her car. Casey tells Jane to have an “accidental pregnancy” by George. Various other milder innuendos are spoken. Walking into her apartment Jane finds Tess and George making out on the couch [they aren’t aware of her presence and she leaves]. Different dresses are inappropriate and suggestive. Meant as a joke Jane once quips she’s “Jesus.”)


  1. I LOVE this movie - I need to rewatch it soon! :)

  2. I also need to rewatch this one again! Loved it, and it has helped me picture James Marsden in something other than belting into song at Central Park (I love Enchanted, but him in that...not so much)

    Favorite scene is when she is trying on all those dresses!! Oh, some of those are hideous! =)

  3. I am pleased to hear there are two other fans of this movie. =) Critics are SO unkind to this genre.

    Ruth - I just re-watched (for about the third or fourth time!) this with my mom earlier in the week and still got some laughs out of it, and most of all a smile at the pretty happy-ever-after; gotta' love those!

    Ella - I too LOVE "Enchanted" but prefer Amy and Patrick along with the adorable child actress as characters. But then I "get" that James' character is supposed to be "strange" because he IS from a fairy-tale land, after all.

    I totally forgot how much I LOVE the "dress scene" (it could have turned into something not-so-sweet) when I posted this. I meant to use this 2nd photo - although the "wedding scene" is just as wonderful. =D

  4. I just watched most of this {I wasn't able to watch the last 15 minutes} :( and it's pretty great! :) I hope I get to watch the end sometime soon!

  5. I cannot say enough about this one, Trinka! It's got some great humor and the acting is wonderful. (Although, I'll admit that I am partial to Katherine's acting.) I've seen it a half-a-dozen times and still I love it! Let me know what you thought of the movie once you finish it. =)


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