27 Dresses (Review)
27 Dresses (2008; three stars [out of five])
A likable romantic comedy that feels like it was only one rewrite away from greatness. On the plus side, Heigl and Marsden are terrific, and, as romantic comedy plots go, the goings-on here are mostly plausible and the characters are full human beings. What a relief!
The bad moments come mostly when characters are forced to do generic comedy relief of a broader sort--Heigl yelling the "F" word and discovering she's standing in front of an anniversary party; Heigl falling after a dramatic (and totally uncalled-for) leap off a dock onto a boat; a recurring reference to "Benny and the Jets" that is forced to mean more than it probably should. All of these moments feel artificial, and the movie isn't quite comfortable with them.
Chief culprit here is Malin Akerman as Heigl's head-turning model sister, who is not only simply unbelievable (she's too short to be a model and, though pretty, is hardly plausible competition for the otherworldly Heigl), but is saddled with the most cartoonish character traits: saying "Hola, Paco!" to a Hispanic kid who has just spoken Brooklyn English to her face; not knowing what "shagging flies" means at a baseball game, and worse. How any sane businessman like Ed Burns could fall for her act beggars the imagination, and when this same ditz turns out to be the voice of mature reason--for one climactic paragraph and never again--it rings unusually hollow.
But the main story is smart, the premise is lovely, and if you like weddings, the 27 dresses are hysterically bad. Not a bad date movie all around, and I've got my fingers crossed that Heigl and Marsden will both do better next time around. In the meantime, I crossed my fingers all the way through, and basically I feel like my brain survived.
Labels: movies and TV