Directed by: Anne Fletcher
Written by: Aline Brosh McKenna
Starring: Katherine Heigl, James Marsden, Malin Åkerman, Edward Burns, Judy Greer
Always the bridesmaid, never the bride essentially drives and summarizes a film that tries to start a conversation regarding love and marriage. An intention that becomes so overly harsh and mean that it forgets the message it wants to put out into the world.
After attending 27 weddings as a bridesmaid, Jane (Katherine Heigl) can be considered an expert in the game of weddings. She loves the celebration of marriage though weddings and how it completes a journey in loving relationships. After running as a bridesmaid for two weddings co-currently, she meets Kevin (James Marsden), a complete cynic about love and the entire institution of matrimony. This sets up a clash of ideologies.
From the outside and seeing the plot of this film, it seems like it would try to have an uplifting message about love and marriage but instead it wants to be incredibly vicious towards its women. It creates a character that should be rooted for but throughout the runtime seemingly takes every opportunity to make her likable. Jane does not start that way in the story, but it comes out when her sister crashes back into her life. Her sister, Tess (Malin Åkerman) visits after spending some time in Europe. Jane believes that her visit will be temporary until Tess beings interacting with the person she has fallen in love with, her boss, Greg. It quickly becomes Jane’s worst nightmare and truly brings out the harsh interior she hides underneath a kind exterior. She pulls a move during this film that quite frankly should be unforgivable but stories like this need redemption.
Pretty much every character becomes insufferable very quickly except for the couple that the film wants the audience to root against. Oh, and Judy Greer portraying her typical “best friend” role. I know we can all agree that Judy Greer rules and deserves to be the lead in her own romantic comedies. Besides them, the characters engage in futile discussions about marriage and the pairing the audience should be rooting for lost my patience fairly quickly. As a fan of James Marsden and a believer that he should be more appreciated in Hollywood, I felt bad that he needed to work through this complete caricature of a guy spurned by love and therefore hates the entire institution of marriage. He deserves better, as does the rest of this cast.
Yet another disappointing film by Anne Fletcher, who does nothing but make some pretty terrible films. She always works with films with interesting premises and seemingly cannot tell a functioning story in her feature films. I’m not sure where in the process these films fall apart, but whenever the final product reaches the screen, they’re always subpar. Fletcher fails to put forth characters that can actually connect with the audience and provide any reason to invest in their growth. It’s devoid of any comedy and its attempts to be romantic becomes laughable at best. Protagonists do not have to be perfect or always good, but there should be something that makes the audience root for them. Even the biggest anti-heroes have endearing qualities to them, but Jane quickly becomes the villain of this story through her antics.
Despite having a decent cast and an interesting premise, 27 Dresses fails to deliver anything worth watching. It has a protagonist with more venom than anyone the audience should be rooting against. Tries to be funny to no avail and its romantic conclusion becomes oddly annoying. A bad combination of director, actor, and material and a complete misfire of a production. Maybe the script should have spent more time searching for itself before committing to try and connect with an audience.