The staple of any good romantic comedy is the chemistry between the leading lady and leading man. This is highlighted by most movies starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan (Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail) and 90% of the films starring Matthew McConaughey or Hugh Grant (mostly because these guys can have instant chemistry with a tin can). When a connection is missing, no matter how good or bad the underlying premise is, the movie undeniably suffers. Case in point: movies like Maid in Manhattan, Gigli (notice the Jennifer Lopez theme) and now 27 Dresses.
Coming off of her 2007 summer hit Knocked Up, Katherine Heigl plays Jane, a lovely girl seemingly doomed to always play the bridesmaid and never the bride. The reasoning? She’s a pushover – she can’t speak up for herself to get what she wants or say no to any request, no matter how inane it may be. It all comes to head for her when her younger sister Tess (Malin Akerman) flies into town and within several hours of her landing, manages to hook up with the man Jane has been pining after for years – her boss George (Edward Burns). To complete her circle of agony, Aline Brosh McKenna wrote in Kevin (James Marsden), a belligerent wedding columnist who verbally pokes and prods Jane to no end for what seems like an eternity.
And for that eternity that is 27 Dresses, I couldn’t help but wonder “how in God’s name did this get green lighted?” There is nothing romantic or funny about this movie. Kevin may be the worst romantic lead this millennium (okay, that’s a long time, so maybe a century is a better timeframe). Not only is his reason for being in the movie a complete afterthought (they literally wrote the movie and realized the romantic interest was missing) but his personality is as unlikable as that of the alien in Alien! Even if the character was written to be the smug douche-bag that he turns out to be, Anne Fletcher could have directed Marsden to at least try and make him more palatable (he did a fine job of it in Enchanted, so I’m sure he could have done it here). This guy has zero redeeming qualities and it is incredulous that a wonderful piece of ass like Jane could or would fall for him. And while I’m ranting about redeeming qualities, there doesn’t seem to be any in the bunch. Tess is, for the lack of a better word, a pig. George, who we are told is such a great guy, comes across like a stick in the mud.
The lone bright spot, other than Heigl’s great figure, is Judy Greer. She plays Casey, Jane’s irreverent best friend. Every scene she is in, she steals with her quick wit and off-the-wall demeanor (which unfortunately isn’t saying much since everything is so bad). Without her shouldering some of the load, 27 Dresses may have been the first movie I ever walked out on. I should also note, that while it has been hundreds of times before, I still get a kick out of watching sing-alongs, especially when they’re done to a fun song in an unassuming manner. It’s done here to one of Elton John’s better songs, “Bennie and the Jets” and it may very well be the only moment I was snapped out of my catatonic state.
Do I need to say more? I should hope not. But in case I do, I’ll end my review like this: You’re better off downing 27 shots of tequila than watching 27 Dresses. That’s right boys and girls, you’ll have a better time getting alcohol poisoning and having your stomach pumped. Now where is that damn bottle . . .