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Review:’Dresses’ Is One-Size-Fits-All

Nicole Eggenberger | Monday, January 21, 2008

Fox’s plan to maximize holiday ticket sales by pushing the release date of “27 Dresses” back to January 18th proved to be a smart one.

“27 Dresses” opened second with a gross weekend total of $22.4 million behind the movie “Cloverfield” which totaled $41 million opening weekend. Its chick-flick competitor, “Mad Money,” only opened seventh with $7.7 million – making the fairly predictable romantic plot of “27 Dresses” a clear favorite alternative to the Sci-Fi thriller “Cloverfield.”

Katherine Heigl stars in “27 Dresses” as Jane, a serial bridesmaid who, after performing all the necessary bridesmaid duties 27 times, has trouble completing her 28th. Her younger sister Tess (Malin Akerman) plans to marry Jane’s boss George (Edward Burns), whom she secretively loved. Adding to her distress, a writer for the commitments section Kevin (James Marsden) follows her around to cover the big event.

After telling Vanity Fair in an interview that “Knocked Up” was “a little sexist,” Heigl chose her next role to be more female friendly. “Dresses” gives audiences what – if not more than – they expect in a classic romantic comedy. Previews did not do the movie justice for the depth of the plot.

The film does not only showcase the horrible 27 weddings Jane had to attend, but also centers around her personal career, passions, love life and family. By the end of the film, Jane’s personality is so understood that her happiness and growth is a concern for everyone in the audience. Jane was a woman who would only try to please everyone else before herself, but in order to find love she had to start thinking for herself.

Kevin pushes Jane to stop being a doormat by persistently getting on her nerves. For viewers, the irritated but cute exchanges between Jane and Kevin set the playful romantic mood. The pairs on-screen chemistry was perfect in making the story believable and desirable. “Awwing” out loud moments included a modeling show for Kevin of all 27 dresses; a drunken rendition of Elton John’s classic “Bennie and the Jets,” sung by both on top of a bar; and the big romantic gesture at the end of the film. Marsden made a simple line – “Come here” – unbelievably sexy and dream-worthy.

The talent of the cast did not stop with Heigl and Marsden. Burns played the perfect clueless and overly dependent boss whose main concern was himself unlike Jane’s problem of concern for others. George is a tofu loving outdoor adventure fanatic who falls for Tess his deceivingly perfect match. Tess is more of a burger loving spa girl whose only thing she may have in common with George is that she only thinks about herself. Akerman plays the role of a snotty younger sister so well that it may be disappointing that Jane never actually punches her out.

A near-show stealer was Jane’s sassy and sarcastic friend Casey played by Judy Greer. Most of Casey’s lines were the types of inappropriate thoughts that people only think in their heads but never actually say. Following Jane around to all her wedding events seemed to have given Casey a perpetual hangover. Casey goes to the weddings for all of the fun that can be had there as laid out in “Wedding Crashers.”

It may seem that “27 Dresses” has the typical romantic comedy characters and plot – and that’s because it does. It doesn’t fail to give the target audience exactly what they hope for in chick-flick and that’s the best thing about the movie. Love scene in the rain, cute romantic phrases and a breakout everybody sing-along song are all included.