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maryann johanson, ruining movies since 1997

27 Dresses (review)

With all the manufactured magnificence and tiered fakery of a bouffant wedding cake slathered in cementlike frosting that looks nice and tastes like glue, herewith the latest example of whalebone-corseted conformity masquerading as a postfeminist statement on modern independent womanhood. Katherine Heigl (Knocked Up) has been the head bridesmaid at the nuptials of more than two dozen of her closest friends, which means holding the bride’s dress while she pees and absorbing, on the salary of a low-paid administrative assistant, obscene expenditures on hideous gowns that can never be worn again, expensive gifts, journeys to destination weddings, and so on. (This would have been called The Wedding Planner, except that title was taken already, and for pretty much the same movie.) Oh, yes, she’s dumb: she actually believes the sentimental nonsense she reads in the newspaper Style section’s wedding coverage, even after she learns that her new nemesis, James Marsden (Enchanted), is the cynical writer behind it. And now she’s taking care of her sister’s (Malin Akerman: The Heartbreak Kid) wedding to the man she secretly loves (Edward Burns: A Sound of Thunder): not only can she not say no to anyone, she apparently can’t express any of her feelings in any way whatsoever. At least not until the “dramatic” climax, when she goes off the deep end. Marsden is charming, though he belongs in another movie entirely: the rest of the story around him becomes nothing but a hearty toast of approval to overblown weddings as an expression of mindless consumerism, and to the idea of feminine doormat-ery as the most appealing and attractive attribute a woman can exude.


MPAA: rated PG-13 for language, some innuendo and sexuality

viewed at a private screening with an audience of critics

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