Heigl's talent wasted on '27 Dresses'

Newspaper reporter Kevin (James Marsden) offers a helping hand to fallen bridesmaid Jane (Katherine Heigl) in "27 Dresses."

Special to The Sun
Published: Friday, January 18, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 17, 2008 at 4:59 p.m.

"27 Dresses'' is so chock full of romantic-comedy cliches, it almost plays like a parody.


27 Dresses


CAST: Katherine Heigl, James Marsden, Judy Greer

THEATER: Butler Plaza, Cinemas 90 (Lake City), Florida Twin Theatre (Starke), Gator Cinemas


Katherine Heigl's Jane is always a bridesmaid and never a bride, a role she's performed 27 times already because she's so adept at anticipating and meeting her friends' every prenuptial need.

She's secretly in love with her boss (Edward Burns) but, naturally, there's another guy out there (James Marsden) whom she initially clashes with, and who obviously will end up being the one to keep her from having to wear bridesmaid dress No. 28.

Director Anne Fletcher also crams in a wisecracking best friend, the obligatory trying-on-clothes montage featuring all the hideous taffeta concoctions in Jane's closet, and a cringe-inducing sing-along to Elton John's "Bennie and the Jets.''

And of course, the whole thing wraps up with a mad dash to blurt out some very painful, public I-love-yous. On stage. At a microphone.

Heigl has such an intriguingly different presence for a rom-com heroine, though that she makes you long to see her work with more inspired material.

The star of TV's "Grey's Anatomy'' proved a reliable straight woman in last summer's "Knocked Up'' opposite a gaggle of goofy guys who stole all the laughs.

Several of those 27 future wives are bridezillas, whom Jane assuages with her warm demeanor and her mantra in every tricky situation, "No problem.'' But it's clear from her obsession with weddings that her primary, life-defining dream is to be the one walking down the aisle.

Her best friend, Casey (Judy Greer), is singularly sarcastic and promiscuous. Her younger sister, Tess (Malin Akerman), has skated her whole life on her looks and her party-girl personality - and she manages to sweep Burns' character off his feet the night she meets him in a slinky little yellow number at a bar, much to Jane's dismay. They end up getting engaged within just weeks, since Tess has lied to make him think she's the perfect woman for him.

Guess who the maid of honor will be?

Costume designer Catherine Marie Thomas deserves a mention, though, for creating all those wild gowns, which range from goth and cowgirl-themed to a Scarlet O'Hara-inspired monstrosity and a hot pink micro-mini for an L.A. wedding.

The theory offered here is that bridesmaid dresses are ugly to make the women getting married look better by comparison. "27 Dresses'' has the same effect on its romantic comedy predecessors.

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