Friday, 28 March 2008

27 Dresses (Thanet Extra, Friday 28th March, 2008)

Katherine Heigl (who plays the lead in this week’s 27 Dresses) is set for a series of lead roles. With her ditsy supermodel style, huge eyes and comic timing she has already scored a big hit with Knocked Up (even after she told everyone she thought it was sexist). She could probably do without clunkers like 27 Dresses mind.

Before the question arises: I like romantic comedies and I like movies set in New York — When Harry Met Sally will do for me. The problem with romcoms though, especially Manhattan set ones, is that by definition the characters will be self-obsessed. Of course they are; of all the terrible calamities in the world, audiences are asked to concentrate on their own “will-they-won’t-they” stories for 90 plus minutes. But if they don’t charm you, or you don’t actually want them to get together and it ain’t funny, then Whitney Houston, we have a problem.

Heigl plays Jane who, for reasons best told in sickly flash-back, is almost a professional bridesmaid, zipping around town, in various wedding accoutrements, as a multi-tasking organiser extraordinaire for her friends, delivering an even better service than J-Lo in The Wedding Planner, while of course never snagging a man herself.

Clocking up all these weddings, she is noticed trying to squeeze two nuptials into one day by one of the guests, played by James Marsden, who is a handsome journalist from a local newspaper (a plausible touch that). Now he is completely cynical about the whole matrimonial thing, while Jane is completely in love with it. What obstacles in the path of true love could there be? Well, Jane has a major crush on her hunky boss George, (Ed Burns) who soon takes a fancy to her smug, blonde model of a sister (arrived from out of town) and George is cooking up a juicy article exposing her whole way of life.

Jane’s character is annoying and one dimensional despite Heigl’s best efforts with the material. George is just bland. Everyone else is deeply smug and looks like they are ready to walk into a Gap commercial then fall asleep on a bean-bag. And the script contrives a ridiculous situation to bring the lovers together, when it has obviously run out of ideas. Bring back My Big Fat Greek Wedding, all is forgiven. There is more romance and comedy in Stallone’s Rambo.

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