On paper, the synopsis for 27 Dresses has little appeal to me as a single male who loathes romantic comedies. Not that I don't give them a chance, but normally they insult my intelligence and are as predictable as an England football team exit from a major tournament.

27 Dresses is predictable and the ending can be easily guessed early on - but what matters is how you get there. Katherine Heigl plays Jane, whose life consists of work and weddings - she lives for them and cherishes every moment she spends at them.

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While attending one of her many friends' celebrations Jane meets Kevin (James Marsden), a writer who covers the wedding circuit and writes the commitments column for the local newspaper. They instantly get off on the wrong foot, as Kevin is incredibly cynical about marriage, much to Jane's disgust. It is only after sharing a taxi ride home that Kevin discovers Jane's diary - and that there is more to her than initially meets the eye.

Kevin starts to try to woo her, while Jane is suffering emotionally - as her sister Tess is getting closer to her boss George (Edward Burns), who Jane secretly has a crush on. Amid all this drama Kevin is looking for his ticket out of commitments and sees a possible story in Jane being a perpetual bridesmaid, never the bride.

27 Dresses is only as good as its characters and Jane and Kevin are well-drawn, wonderfully played by Heigl and Marsden. Marsden as the self-assured, charismatic Kevin has an endearing presence and is so good that when he's not on screen he is noticeably missed.

Heigl delivers a star-making turn and easily carries the film, aided admirably by Marsden - their chemistry is fantastic. The script at times is very witty a touch bitchy but never resorts to toilet humor for laughs, which, frankly, is a welcome change of late.

While watching 27 Dresses the time just flew by, its likeable characters, catchy pop-tunes and warm, fuzzy ending made for pleasant viewing. Guys, fear not, it is really not as bad as the title sounds and, who knows, you may be surprised by it like I was.

Reviewed on: 28 Jul 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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