27 Dresses movie poster
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27 Dresses movie poster

27 Dresses Movie Review

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When 27 Dresses was released back in January of 2008, it opened to a whopping $27 million, solidifying Katherine Heigl as a legitimate box office draw, at least in the romantic comedy genre. Sure, she's only starred in two movies since the debut of "Grey's Anatomy," and one of them - Knocked Up - was a hit for other reasons, but would have a standard-looking romantic comedy like 27 Dresses opened to such a large amount if not for Heigl's presence? I doubt it.

27 Dresses is your typical romantic comedy, with a basic premise and the standard formula underneath. Basically, Heigl plays a woman who has been a bridesmaid for 27 different brides (maybe a few repeats?) but who has always shied away from confronting her attractive, lovable boss (Edward Burns) with her true feelings. When he falls for her younger sister (Malin Akerman), though, Heigl's safe little world is thrown into disarray. Add in a wedding reporter (James Marsden) who has been selected to secretly write a story on Heigl's 27 dresses - but who also is attracted to her - and you have yourself a story. Of course, as one might suspect (I would say spoiler alert, but can one really spoil a romantic comedy?), Heigl discovers that she actually has feelings for the annoying reporter, but his secret might tear them apart. Conflict and romance ensue.

Even though 27 Dresses is pretty typical and writer Aline Brosh McKenna decided to throw in the unnecessary conflict of Marsden's newspaper article (how many times has this been done?), it is a fluffy, breezy and enjoyable cliché. Romantic comedies seem to have this effect; like country songs, they're all the same yet people still tend to like them. I don't understand the phenomenon, but I accept it (for romantic comedies - I don't get how people can like country songs). As romantic comedies go, 27 Dresses is one of the more enjoyable ones I've seen recently.

There is nothing remarkable about the picture, other than it has very good casting and well-written characters. All four of the main stars do well in their respective roles. There's not an amazing amount of chemistry between them, but the writing is good enough that the movie is able to overcome this. What really sold me was a scene near the end where Heigl reveals the truth about her on-screen sister to Burns; this is one of the funnier and brutal scenes I've seen in quite some time.

27 Dresses isn't anything new, but it's entertaining and mildly funny, and avoids too much romantic sentiment.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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