Saturday, June 07, 2008
Written by Pollo Misterioso
Apparently everyone has marriage on the mind, but this is not new. Hollywood loves the idea of a happy endings and that means tying the knot to secure it. Not saying that this is an outdated idea, but when it is forced down young women’s throats that women can only be happy when married, it leaves you with a more uncomfortable feeling than a bad bridesmaid dress.
27 Dresses stars Katherine Heigl and is directed by Anne Fletcher, a famous choreographer, and features Edward Burns and James Marsden as the leading men. That is a nice little cast, but pretty faces only go so far.
We begin with the back-story of Jane’s (Heigl) obsession with weddings. She sees them as a calling; the same way great artists or composers are drawn to their craft. Flash forward and she is a New York assistant to a self-made businessman George (Burns) whom she is in love with. Her true calling is weddings, not only being the maid of honor, but also submersing herself into every aspect of the occasion. And yet, for someone that claims weddings are her calling, she is still unhappy. When she introduces her sister to George, they fall madly in love and Jane is then asked to plan the wedding for her sister to the man she is in love with. In the middle of all this, she meets Kevin Doyle, her favorite wedding announcement writer, who falls for her, but uses her to further his career.
It is not that this film did not have good intentions, it’s just that all the ingredients weren’t mixed right—and that is frustrating in a predictable genre. Heigl’s character seems to be the perfect leading lady, but she comes off as pathetic and self-loathing. Desperation is never fun to watch on screen, especially when it deals with marriage. The biggest problem is her lack of action in any situation that she is in. The whole world knows she is in love with her boss, but she does nothing. She claims to have a strong bond with her sister, but she says nothing. She is left pouting and doing things she doesn’t want to do.
The only smart character in the film, Kevin (Marsden) ends up getting punished for his actions and made to look ridiculous. He is always the voice of reason, even coaching Jane to say “no” because she is simply too nice. He gets what he wants, makes mistakes and falls in love, all without pouting or being untrue to himself.
Beneath the veil of marriage comes the very important theme of one’s own happiness and the idea of knowing when to say “no.” But even this very important backbone to the film, is never developed and at the climax of the movie, when Jane finally says something to her sister, she is punished and must pick up the pieces. The film is about being true to oneself, but Jane only gets that when she is the one walking down the isle.
Every single girl gets a strange slap of reality after attending a wedding, questions of when and to whom one will get married run through our heads. In 27 Dresses Jane keeps saying how much she loves marriage and weddings, but really she is passively hinting at her own need for a perfect wedding. But marriage isn’t the ultimate happiness; one must be true to themselves. 27 Dresses tries to remain cute and pleasing to watch, but it doesn’t really know what it is trying to say, and like a slap of reality from weddings, it’s uncomfortable.
The DVD extras for this film are definitely for lovers of weddings and dresses. These include deleted scenes from the film, a making of, along with a couple of featurettes that are fun to watch. A favorite being “You’ll Never Wear that Again” which gets into all of the dresses that were chosen for this film.