Sunday, February 08, 2009

Tonight's Movie: 27 Dresses (2008)

This seems to have been the weekend of "new movies"! As regular readers know, the majority of my movie viewing is of films made between 1930 and 1960. This weekend, however, found me catching up with three recent movies, starting with the new DVD release BOTTLE SHOCK on Friday night and the brand-new theatrical film HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU yesterday, with tonight's grand finale being the 2008 romantic comedy 27 DRESSES, courtesy of Netflix.

27 DRESSES is a very enjoyable romantic comedy with a pair of appealing stars in Katherine Heigl (GREY'S ANATOMY) and James Marsden (ENCHANTED). It's not particularly original, but that's half what makes the film fun; sometimes one simply wants to watch a nice, almost old-fashioned romance where you have a pretty good idea at the outset as to how things will turn out.

Heigl plays Jane, who is always the proverbial bridesmaid, putting the needs of others ahead of her own. Marsden plays Kevin, who writes New York Times style wedding stories but would like to break into bigger writing assignments.

Kevin and Jane "meet cute" on a night when Jane is shuttling back and forth as a bridesmaid in two different weddings, and get to know each other further when Kevin covers the wedding planned between Jane's sister Tess (Malin Akerman) and Jane's boss George (Edward Burns), whom Jane has silently loved for years.

Heigl and Marsden strike just the right notes as they bicker, laugh, and cry a little on their way to their own happy ending. Heigl in particular gets beyond the surface and makes Jane a real, multi-layered person. Marsden is personable in a role quite different from the buffoonish singing prince he played in ENCHANTED. Both actors should have a good future ahead in other films.

Brian Kerwin, who plays Jane's father, has been on TV since the '70s; does anyone else remember the Robert Preston-Rosemary Harris Western he appeared in, THE CHISHOLMS? That's a miniseries I'd love to see make it to DVD. Similarly, Melora Hardin, who plays Kevin's editor, started out as a child actress in '70s TV, including appearances on LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE.

Parental advisory: 27 DRESSES is rated PG-13 for language and some very brief sexuality. As I mentioned in my post on HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU, there seems to be a wide latitude as far as what constitutes a PG-13 movie these days; while HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU seemed to verge on an R-rated movie, 27 DRESSES was much closer to a regular PG film. If the language and a brief scene had been cleaned up, it would have been an old-fashioned, family-friendly romantic comedy.

27 DRESSES was directed by Anne Fletcher. The screenplay is by Aline Brosh McKenna (THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA). The movie runs 111 minutes.

27 DRESSES is available on DVD in a widescreen or fullscreen edition. Extras include featurettes and deleted scenes.


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