Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses: The (innacurate) review
You may be wondering why I am reviewing a film that has been released in this country since March. Well, when I dragged a few friends to see Iron Man, I convinced them all that the Marvel blockbuster would be a damn sight more interesting than some woman moaning about never being the bride (whilst being everyone else’s bridesmaid). I hadn’t seen the film, but as predictable as most “chick flicks” are, I thought I would be right on the money. As an apology to him and his girlfriend, who I might add was not happy about going to see Iron man (she has problems), I decided that after saving my friend from the nightmare of watching the film, I would for him. Oh dear. Why did I need to apologise. He should apologise to me.
There is something very scary about 27 dresses. It begins fairly predictably, but moves in on Katherine Heigl’s obsession with getting married. Okay so as men, we accept that it is a common understanding that women have this dream wedding in mind, but Heigl’s character has EVERYTHING in mind. The invitations, the bouquets, the dresses, the headwear. If this is an insight into the mind of your average woman, I don’t want to be there! It is a scary scary place. There is something mentally wrong with this character and the writer seems to think that:
- This is normal
- This is an amusing tale
- and this is how all women feel underneath all the bravado.
Please God: I hope not. I don’t claim to know much about the inner workings of your average woman, but the females I know are not this obsessed about marriage.....at least I hope so.....
Heigl hasn’t really headlined in any films unless you count National Treasure and she doesn’t seem at ease with this weight on her shoulders. In the first half of the film it felt like she was finding her feet with the inner workings of her character and so decided upon a borderline psychotic!
Despite appearances though, I am not adversed to these “Chick Flicks”. I am confident enough in my sexuality (as a man) to walk into a cinema boldly and say “1 ticket for 27 dresses please”. I am happy enough sitting own in an aisle seat seemingly reserved just for me as I look across at the majority of women in the audience and the few men who have clearly been dragged there. I must say that at one point in the film, I turned round to see how one of my gender was getting on whilst Heigl was losing it into crazyville with her “I NEED TO GET MARRIED” statements and noticed some looks of sheer horror on the face of a particular man. It was clear that his girlfriend was making a not so subtle hint to the poor chap. This event perked me up somewhat and whilst thanking the Lord that I was not accompanied by a desperate female, I decided to give this crazyfest a chance.
Five minutes later that chance I had given 27 dresses had completely gone out of the window when I heard one of the females state on film: “he doesn’t eat red meat, which is cool”. Pardon? Who wrote this script? I was under the impression that women spoke about more mature things than breasts, cars and video games. It turns out that they find a fuzzy git of a man (as far as eating is concerned) a turn on. Did I miss something? Is this an attempt by the director to check we are all awake? Is the male equivalent, me saying to my mates, “oh, she’s really cool: she hates Chinese food”. How, in any way whatsoever is that “COOL”?
The film was absolutely plastered with bad acting for about 70 minutes and then for some unknown reason, things started to be funny, cute, jovial, flirty. There was actually some chemistry between Heigl and James Marsden’s character. It had taken 70 long minutes (when I thought the movie would be ending soon) and the story took a turn for the better. I started liking some of the characters. The craziness had been replaced by eccentricity (which we British love – just look at Boris Johnson). For the last half hour of this too long film, I actually enjoyed it.....ish.
Heigl was obsessed about marriage, obsessed about her boss, obsessed and manages to alienate the audience for most of the film; until her sister falls for the man she has a crush on (aww). After this point, you started to empathise with her. Okay, so she’s an attractive woman who clearly was born with a silver spoon in her mouth and is incapable of looking bad in anything, but they actually get you to feel sorry for this crazy lady.
So let’s sum up this then: getting married is a nightmare in planning (I’ve done it twice: believe me...it’s a nightmare). This is a film about the nightmare of planning a wedding and not only that but the wedding of your sister who's marry a man you "love". Why was this a good idea for a story? This sibling rivalry tale has been told before (many times) and better. Even Kirstie Alley managed to be better in this role than Heigl in a film called “Sibling Rivalry” (which is funnier, better constructed and stars that bloke off of Quantum leap). It becomes clear later on in the film that Heigl is capable of doing light romantic comedy, but with practice. So I say to her: Get out there and get practising!
Incidentally, Heigl’s voiceover at the end is a very good way of finishing the tale. James Marsden was consistently good throughout working with others not comfortable in those dresses...er...shoes...
Overall, this deserved to be so much better (and so much shorter). For that I blame three groups of people:
- The Director and editors
- Katherine Heigl (and whatever entourage she has saying how fantastic she was in “that shot”)
- and 3: The whole of the female species, because if they truly think like this woman, I’m going to go find a log cabin in the woods, change my name to Joseph and cut wood for the rest of my days.....alone..
To my friend I say: “You had a lucky escape”. To everyone else I say: Don’t bother with this (unless you are a scary women) 2.3 out of 10 (for effort in the second half.