Review: 27 Dresses C+

A Film Review By Stefan Vlahov

Katherine Heigl is always the bridesmaid, never the bride in director/dance choreographer Anne Fletcher’s follow-up to her 2006 hit Step Up. While Fletcher has frequently she is the most accomplished choreographer working in Hollywood today, with 27 Dresses she demonstrates that the same can not be said about her directing. The blandness of this drab film is only matched by the predictability of the screenplay, penned by Aline Brosch McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada) – two points that make the fact that this film is not sleep-inducing an almost unbelievable surprise. I think Fletcher owes any creative success this film may contain to her cast – namely Katherine Heigl, James Marsden and the always wonderful Judy Greer – and their undeniable comedic timing. In fact, a lot of these lines would not have worked at all if it wasn’t for these actors’ comedic timing, that I am reluctant to give credit to Fletcher for contributing to, especially after seeing the stilted figures that were the characters in Step Up. 27 Dresses tells of the efforts of Jane to support her sister Tess (Malin Ackerman) who is marrying Kevin (James Marsden) the man Jane secretly loves. This storyline has seen many incarnations, many of them bad, and this one too, is one that is more bad than good. The reason the film does not even work as a chick flick, is because the dramatic pay-off that follows all of the mostly average comedy is unsatisfying in the way it was written on the page, and ultimately, the way it comes off on the screen. One of the things that makes it unsatisfying is its need to satisfy and tidy things up for the audience in a predictable fashion. But is it worth it for the audience to watch the past 90 minutes only to be treated to 15 minutes of unsubstantial romantic events that resemble chase scenes with fast cuts and unexplained developments that are just perfect for the ADD-infused crowd Fletcher is hoping the audience is made up of. Cut to the last scene of the film – a scene that has defined the romantic comedy genre climaxes for the past decade. A scene that is so unrealistic in its disregard for the way humans really feel, the way they really love, and the way they really act that at the end I thought I had just seen a remake of Step Up without the dancing. Not Recommended.

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