27 Dresses – Katherine Heigl Plays Always a Bridesmaid, Never the Bride

August 27, 2011

27 Dresses (2008) Film Review

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.

 
27 Dresses

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, and sweet girl. She’s the go-to girl for every wedding she’s a part of. Jane’s own love life however is in disarray. She has been secretly in love with her boss George (Edward Burns) for years. Then Kevin (James Marsdan), a journalist, enters her life.

Coinciding with the annoying presence of this communist is the return of Jane’s baby sister, Tess (Malin Akerman). Her gorgeous sister, who also happens to steal 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. All four of the main characters have flaws and I think the screenwriters did a nice job of showing that. Jane’s imperfections are easy to relate too, easily recognized. Her romanticism though sometimes misguided, comes from a good place as does her desire to protect and nurture.

To be honest, while this may primarily be a romance, it’s also an accurate portrait of sisters, and the fragile bond between them. The most important thing about this part of the story is that everyone learns something valuable. I liked how the relationships were resolved, or in some cases not. That said, don’t fret over the thought of an incomplete ending. All of the characters are left in the place they should be; for themselves and their respective (or the possibility of) relationships.

From the director of Step Up, this one had my name all over it from the start. Though not unique among romantic-comedy tropes, it is unusually charming. There is the general boy-meets-girl plot that involves sparks flying, and a life-long romance that waits in the wings. But there is a fairy-tale quality to it also. One of my favorite scene involves an unexpected visit from Kevin, and those 27 dresses. What I liked so much about the scene is its sweetness and the glimpse into the relationship between these two. The scene in which Jane finally lands her guy is also touching. 

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? It has an ending that leaves you believing in happily-ever after.


(This post does contain affiliate links; I may receive a small commission if you order through this link. Read the disclosure page for details.) You can rent or buy 27 Dresses on Amazon Video or purchase it on DVD.

(27 Dresses is rated PG13 for commonplace profanity and sexual content. Cavalier attitudes about sex and relationships, and a few adult scenes/situations.)

5 Comments

  • Ruth

    August 27, 2011 at 12:51 am

    I LOVE this movie – I need to rewatch it soon! :)

  • Ella

    August 27, 2011 at 1:19 am

    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! =)

  • Rissi

    August 27, 2011 at 3:41 am

    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

  • Trinka

    November 16, 2011 at 2:45 am

    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!

  • Rissi

    November 16, 2011 at 4:08 am

    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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