Today marks the opening of the Katherine Heigl-helmed romantic comedy 27 Dresses. We feel like we knew everything about the movie's plot before even reading a single review. So what did we learn by reading the reviews? That it, in addition to its thin storyline — and we don't mean "thin" in a pro-ana sort of way — 27 Dresses is pretty bad. Also, it's probably even more anti-feminist than that movie Katherine Heigl claims to be have been so ashamed to have appeared in, Knocked Up. See what some hilarious critics had to say, after the jump.
It's not that [27 Dresses] is cynical; it's that all the chick-flick trappings — the fashion, the wedding chitchat, the masochistic one-way crush — drive the story rather than the other way around. 27 Dresses is a movie geared to a pitch of high matrimonial-princess fever. It's white-lace porn for girls of every age, and the way that it revels in that get-me-to-the-altar mood, to the point of making anyone who isn't getting married feel like a loser, is the picture's key selling point...Even the satire of the wedding industry plays like a backhanded endorsement of it.
Anyone who has seen a chick flick knows what is going to happen next, and next, and next... But there just isn't enough story here to justify a 107-minute running time, no matter how many montages debuting director Anne Fletcher whips up. Heigl, who demonstrates her gift for physical comedy, has complained in interviews about the sexist tone of "Knocked Up." But what happens when she teams up with a woman director and screenwriter? You get "27 Dresses," which delivers that great feminist message: A woman's life is meaningless without marriage.
[D]irector Anne Fletcher... makes the reasonably insightful, moderately funny point that modern American weddings, however they may strain for individuality and specialness, are all pretty much alike. The problem is that much the same could be said about modern American romantic comedies...The best thing about "27 Dresses," which was written by Aline Brosh McKenna...is that the Guys are not really the point. Or rather, if getting the Right one is the point of the story, the spark of comedy is carried by the women in the picture. Too bad it's such a dim spark.
There is a movie to be made from that shared humiliation — actually, there are many, and they already litter the shelves of Blockbuster. So at this point, the question is whether "27 Dresses" has anything new to add. And the answer is a resounding no...
Heigl is terrific, this uninspired romantic comedy is considerably less so. A tired pastiche of the 27-odd wedding-themed vehicles that preceded it, the film essentially slaps together all the stuff that worked so well the first or second time around, minus any of the original charm or verve. That it manages to function at all is mainly Heigl's doing...
"27 Dresses" is a romantic comedy in which nothing the least bit surprising occurs, no disagreement or estrangement seems sufficiently serious to persist, and no one behaves in a manner that cannot be predicted by anyone who has seen more than two or three other romantic comedies.
"27 Dresses"... sags like a day-old bouquet... when Jane's supermodel little sister Tess (Malin Akerman) shows up, throwing an extroverted, platinum-blond spanner into the already shaky works. It's at this point that "27 Dresses" becomes a movie not about people or relationships, but about cute apartments and cuter outfits...There is not one surprising, charming or endearingly quirky thing about "27 Dresses," which hews to the rom-com formula with bland, regimented precision. This is a movie that actually invokes the term "Bridezilla" as if it's a brand-new idea instead of a ready-for-retirement cliche.
Katherine Heigl is amiable, pleasant to look at, and has comic ability, and so on that basis "27 Dresses" is almost satisfying. In a romantic comedy, half the ballgame is the charm of the lead actress, and it's no strain to spend 107 minutes in Heigl's company. But then there's the other half of the ballgame - things like story and having characters that make sense and a resolution that's satisfying and a script that avoids cheap sentimentality. On those points, "27 Dresses" collapses. Actually, it collapses in slow motion. It gets worse and worse as it goes along and finally ends just as it's becoming unbearable.
If only it didn't have that unconvincing, sub-par sub-plot, which trots out blah characters and weak twists that include, I'm not kidding, vacuum-cleaning. I understand why the script gives Jane an obnoxious twiggy sister (Malin Akerman) and a dreamboat boss (Edward Burns), and I understand why it throws them together. But Burns looks bored. To death. I'm really worried about him.
"27 Dresses" is so chock full of romantic-comedy cliches, it almost plays like a parody. (It might be fun, though, if they handed out lists at the multiplex door to allow you to check them off as you go along — could be an interactive thing. You know, to help pass the time.)
It's an uninspired romantic comedy that adheres slavishly to the conventions of the genre. But the movie is made pleasant by the likability of its star, Katherine Heigl, and her chemistry with the affable James Marsden. Certainly Heigl fares better in less formulaic fare, such as Judd Apatow's irreverent Knocked Up, but she does raise the level of this chick flick from bland to mildly entertaining.