During an interview to promote Knocked Up, actress Katherine Heigl said of the Judd Apatow comedy that brought her worldwide fame (after her years lighting up Grey’s Anatomy): ‘It paints women as shrews, as humourless and uptight, and it paints men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys.’ While such honesty should be applauded in the all-too-often vanilla flavoured world of film publicity, Heigl has inadvertently set herself up as a bastion of gender equality, which makes her appearance in yet another ‘always-the-bridesmaid-never-the-bride’ romantic comedy so ripe for accusations of selling her sisters out.
Her character, Jane, a PA at an outdoor equipment firm who’s in love with her boss (Edward Burns), makes Snow White look like a suffragette. The montage that kicks off the film shows Jane juggling two gigs as a bridesmaid on a single New York evening followed by the revelation that she likes nothing more than reading a column called ‘Commitments’ in the local paper detailing how couples plan their big day. Conveniently, the columnist (James Marsden) writes under a nom de plume so when they meet she doesn’t immediately realise that he’s the man for her. Eventually her fantasy is ruined when her boss starts dating her airhead model sister (Malin Ackerman).
The conundrum of how you should behave when your sister is marrying the man you love is given only a surface exploration in between Heigl’s attempts to send feminism back to the dark ages while she wades knee deep in schmaltz. 27 Dresses is as bland as century old wedding cake.
General release from Thu 27 Mar.