The night Prince Charles went on television to confess his adultery to the nation, Princess Diana was photographed at the Serpentine Gallery wearing a certain stunning black dress. The next day this was what made front pages around the world. This was the moment when the girl hit back. Never underestimate the power of a dress.

I was reminded of this when Jane Nichols (Katherine Heigl) abandoned her little cardi and skirt outfits in favour of a very similar black dress. This was her “No more Mr Nice Guy” moment.

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Jane is a nice Brooklyn girl who has served as a bridesmaid 27 times and has a closet bursting with dresses to prove it. She loves weddings and she loves caring for people. Ever since her Mom died and she started looking after her little sister. The man she cares most for is her boss. Everyone knows it except him. When she is just about to tell him how she feels, in walks little sister Tess (Malin Akerman), looking every inch the babe in a tiny yellow number. Jane sees her chance slip away, and worse, sister and boss soon decide to marry and Jane has to be there.

But Jane has already met Kevin (James Marsden). They shared a taxi, they argued about weddings, she didn’t like him, she dropped something, he found it etc. And guess what? He turns out to be the reporter who writes all the wonderful articles about weddings which she always cuts out and keeps. But he's such a cynic… or is he?

I can’t think of one original thing in this film. It’s all here: changing clothes in the back of the taxi, getting caught in the pouring rain, Karaoke singing, picking up the mic to tell him how she feels, rapturous applause for the lovely young couple. You could throw it all up in the air and a romcom would come falling down. But Anne Fletcher, who has choreographed a good many of these things, has done a decent job here, and Katherine Heigl is really very good at this. She has the spark and the style to make it work.

The funniest moments occur when Jane puts on her black dress and starts to tell it like it is. She delivers some biting lines. I could have done with more of this, but the mood soon turns soft again. James Marsden is pretty and adequate, but not really a match for her.

This isn’t a film to remember, but if you like this kind of thing you will have a pleasant hour and a half.

Reviewed on: 20 Mar 2008
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A perpetual bridesmaid is torn between loyalty to her sister and passion for her sister's fiance.
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Val Kermode ***

Director: Anne Fletcher

Writer: Aline Brosh McKenna

Starring: Katherine Heigl, Malin Akerman, James Marsden, Danielle Skraastad, Peyton List, Charli Barcena

Year: 2008

Runtime: 107 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US

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