But don't blame the leads. Last year's breakout charmers Katherine Heigl (Knocked Up) and James Marsden (Hairspray, Enchanted) almost salvage this shabby, flabby date movie. He displays impressive comedic timing, and she shows off her deep reservoir of charm. If Knocked marked the arrival of a new rom-com starlet, Dresses at least proves Hollywood's relationship with Heigl is built to last.
While working the wedding beat for a fictional New York newspaper, Kevin (Marsden) crosses paths with perennial bridesmaid Jane (Heigl), who has stood beside 27 brides as she has waited patiently for Mr. Right to come around. Jane loves George (Ed Burns), her boss, but can't work up the courage to tell him. The three legs of a classic love triangle begin to take shape.
So far, so good. Here comes the bad. Jane's younger sister, Tess (Malin Akerman), blows into town. She is introduced to George by Jane at a company gathering (believable), and they immediately hit it off (possible). Days later, the two are madly in love (improbable, but I'll bite). Weeks later, they're engaged to be married (impossible). And Tess asks Jane to be her maid of honor (laughable).
Advertisements trumpet that 27 Dresses comes from the screenwriter of The Devil Wears Prada, which is accurate but only half the story. Aline Brosh McKenna did adapt Prada, but she had Lauren Weisberger's biting satire as a guide. When left to her own devices, McKenna has penned ignorable tripe like Laws of Attraction with Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore and Three to Tango with television castoffs Matthew Perry and Neve Campbell. But if you put that on the Dresses poster, no one would show.
Try the veal.
Run time: 111 mins
In Theaters: Friday 18th January 2008
Box Office USA: $76.8M
Box Office Worldwide: $160.3M
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Production compaines: Fox 2000 Pictures, Spyglass Entertainment, Dune Entertainment III
Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 41%
Fresh: 61 Rotten: 88
IMDB: 6.1 / 10
Director: Anne Fletcher
Producer: Erin Stam, Becki Trujillo, Gary Barber
Screenwriter: Aline Brosh McKenna
Starring: Katherine Heigl as Jane, James Marsden as Kevin, Malin Akerman as Tess, Judy Greer as Casey, Edward Burns as George, Brian Kerwin as Hal, Michael Ziegfeld as Taxi Fahrer Khaleel, Melora Hardin as Maureen, David Castro as Pedro, Peyton List as Young Jane, Jennifer Lim as Bridal Salesgirl, Danielle Skraastad as Bride Suzanne, Yetta Gottesman as Hip Bridesmaid, Erin Fogel as Shari Rabinowitz, Bern Cohen as Rabbi, Maulik Pancholy as Trent, Krysten Ritter as Gina the Goth