Sunday, August 14, 2011

Project Transformers: 27 Dresses

Once again, an explanation of "Project Transformers" here.

2008's 27 Dresses stars Katherine Heigl as, wait for it, always a bridemaid, never a bride.  She has been in twenty-seven wedding parties with twenty-seven dresses to show for it.  She loves weddings, but has not yet met the man who can give her her own perfect day.  She thinks her boss (Edward Burns) is that man, but he falls in love with her younger sister (Malin Akerman).  She resents that and, at the same time, is also being hounded by a wedding writer (James Marsden) who has a thing for her.  Will she end up with her dream guy?  Will it turn out that the wedding writer is really Mr. Right all along?  Do I even have to spoil it for you?

I have to admit that the movie had two strikes against it before I even pressed play.  One strike, the more minor of the two, was that there was a grammatical error on the DVD case, where it said that she had been a bridesmaid "no less than twenty-seven times."  Fewer.  The second, more major, strike was Katherine Heigl.  I am not a fan.  She wasn't horrible in her first big movie, Knocked Up, but she starred in the despicable The Ugly Truth (the awfulness of that was not all her fault) and, frankly, Izzy Stevens was always my least favorite Seattle Grace doctor (next to, of course, Meredith Grey, whom everyone hates).  In her leaving Grey's, Heigl came off as annoying in her remarks to the press and was involved in the worst story arc in a good recent TV drama that did not include members of the Bauer family.  The other castmembers are fine.  Burns showed up in a few too many of the "Worst of the Worst" movies for my liking, but Akerman can be funny and Marsden wasn't just good in X-Men and X2 but was also fantastic in Hairspray.  Judy Greer plays Heigl's best friend, but she seems to take too many roles to only be as awesome as she was in Arrested Development or is in Archer.

The plot is entirely cliched, but there are still a number of confusing moments in the film.  For one thing, Heigl works for a company that puts out catalogs, she's being pursued by a writer for a newspaper with a really popular wedding section, and her father has a family-owned hardware store.  The movie came out in 2008, but the script was written in 1952?  The scene where Burns proposes to Akerman involves a huge sign being unfurled that reads, "Will you marry me?" but she asks what is going on and seems surprised when he gets down on one knee.  My favorite is that the end credits begin over the newspaper story of her wedding and there are two weird errors.  One, more lazy, is that it refers to Heigl's character as the daughter of "Hal Nichols and Mrs. Nichols" which sounds dumb, especially when you consider her mother died when she was very young and would never be referred to in that way.  Second, more funny, is that the article next to the wedding story is written by Marsden's friend (played by an underused Maulik Pauncholy), who is never given a last name in the film and so the story has a by-line of just "Trent."

I went in not wanting to like the movie, but some of the people are likable enough that it wasn't miserable.  The jokes fell flat, but romantic comedies are generally not my thing, anyway.  It is bad though and I dislike most romantic comedies in that same way that I dislike children movies that studios just spew out with no intention other than making as much money as possible.  There is a point in the movie where Heigl's character has just found out Marsden's character is a wedding writer (who has previously said that he hates weddings, but he secretly likes them, it's just that he once had an awful wedding, because he can't just be a guy who doesn't like weddings, he has to be the sweet but wounded guy that needs the right romantic woman to heal him) and she says to him: "You write the most beautiful things. Do you actually believe in love and marriage and just pretend to be a cynic or are you actually a cynic who knows how to spin romantic crap for girls like me?" Hmm.  Autobiographical?

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