27 Dresses (review)

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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.

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Mon, Jan 21, 2008 10:19am

OK… but was the *movie* any good?

Don’t take this the wrong way, but your review is 265 words about the sexual politics of the movie and two words (“dramatic” climax) about the movie.

Mon, Jan 21, 2008 8:16pm

Um, no, the movie was not any good.

I didn’t think one needed to read between any lines to get that from my review. The whole review IS about the movie.

Mon, Jan 21, 2008 11:11pm

I think it’s pretty damn clear that the critic zoned in on possibly the only interesting thing about the movie.

Tue, Jan 22, 2008 12:06am

I bring it up not to be snarky, but I can’t learn anything about Katherine Heigl’s performance from this. Lots of people have been looking at this movie as the one that pushes Katherine Heigl from B-list to A-list. Is it?

Tue, Jan 22, 2008 10:03am

What does “A list” mean? If playing a dumb character in a dumb movie that makes a lot of money counts, that obviously, this will do it for her. But I’ve never judged movies on the basis of whether they will be good for someone’s career: that’s not a factor that makes a movie worth watching, at least not for me. Do you want to watch a stupid movie just because it might determine whether its star gets a jump in pay for her next job?

Tonio Krugerz
Wed, Jan 23, 2008 1:49pm

Hey, I’ve seen Ms. Heigl on “Grey’s Anatomy.” She should be used to stupid storylines by now.