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You Can't Understand 27 Dresses From Just Two Scenes




It's Friday, my 7.30am to 7.30 pm work day. I get home, eat dinner and fall asleep on the sofa. I wake up hours later and 27 DRESSES is on the telly. I've never seen 27 DRESSES. And it turns out that Katherine Heigel's character has somehow ruined the wedding of Malin Akerman's character.

Judy Greer is there also and although this usually means her character was to blame somehow, it seems no, this time it's Katherine Heigel. This accords to my own movie tastes because Katherine Heigel is pretty much the worst thing that can happen to a movie. I never believe in any of her characters for even a nano-second. I am sure I am projecting here, but all Heigel characters seem to be a thin veneer over the real Heigel who is beaming out this message, "Get a load of me in that last scene? Cool, huh? I grabbed it and nailed it, baby. " I am willing to concede that her inner monologue probably isn't quite so influenced by Sinatra's Rat Pack as I'm making it seem on the page. 

The only film she doesn't destroy completely is UNDER SIEGE 2:DARK TERRITORY where she plays a scrappy 16-year-old under the protection of Steven Seagal's anti-terrorism, ex-Navy Seal character Casey Ryback. Steven Seagal has already laid waste to the movie's credibility or any idea of a believable character, so nothing Heigel does can make the slightest bit of difference.

Movies have taught us to be suspicious of Judy Greer, but although her character is usually an awful best friend and a man-stealing frenemy, Judy Greer is a clever and funny actor who will usually do a great job. So here she is telling off Heigel and being amusing and condescending, so as far as I'm concerned the movie has it right. 

I wander off and make tea and I return in time for the final scene. I can't understand anything much. Malin Akerman and Judy Greer are wearing some kind of pastel yellow bridesmaids dress. They're having some kind of beach wedding. Akerman then apparently strikes up a conversation with Ed Burns. Now because I have nothing else to go on, I'm not sure whether she knows Burns and this is some kind of incredible call back and that she is trying to fix up the shell of their former relationship or whether this is some last minute meeting cute.

If she is in fact meeting a guy for the first time at her sister Katherine Heigel's wedding, then well done writer Aline Brosh McKenna (THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA). Bold move. However because the guy is Ed Burns, I am confused. Ed Burns is pretty much the male Katherine Heigel. He usually plays a surly Irish American toolbag who drinks too much and whines about everything in a way that apparently isn't supposed to undermine his intellectual jock appeal. To be clear, only Ed Burns thinks he's an intellectual jock. 

In any movie world, Heigel and Burns characters need to get together because they're awful. They're a pair of smug, self-regarding pains-in-the-ass and they need to be making each other, not two other people, unhappy. At this point,  Malin Akerman takes one for the team, in the manner of THE HURT LOCKER. By continuing to flirt with Ed Burns' secret drunk character, she more or less does the rom-com equivalent of pulling the pin out of a grenade and throwing her body into the explosion. Poor Malin Akerman's character. I barely knew her, but surely she didn't deserve this fate? Did she shoot her grandmother's cat? In another world she'd be fighting shoulder to shoulder with Casey Ryback in UNDER SIEGE 4: CASEY GETS HIS GROOVE BACK.

Meanwhile Judy Greer is being hit on by Maulik Pancholy, a.k.a. Donaghy's assistant Jonathan from 30 ROCK. He isn't right for her, but if this movie went on another thirty minutes, they would have some funny scenes together. Bad rom match, good com match. 

Brian Kerwin, who will forever be Hawkins from Television's SHRERRIF LOBO as far as I'm concerned, turns out to be Akerman and Heigel's father. He walks Heigel down the aisle which appears to be some kind of jetty. These godless heathens are getting married on something you fish from or tie boats to. Never mind. And at the end of the jetty, who is the guy? It has to be some one even more Ed Burns than Ed Burns because nothing else makes sense...bloody hell...so Heigel's character gets Cyclops from Marvel Comics' X-MEN.

James Marsden - how the heck did that happen? Marsden's so handsome that in his hop over to DC Comics he made Lois Lane look frumpy in that terrible SUPERMAN movie. What the heck did Heigel do, jump in front of the bullet when Akerman was assassinating their nana's tabby? Pfft.

Did Katherine Heigel pay off the writer and director? There's no way she should be scoring Marsden. Can't she see she's the Jennifer Anniston of this union and Marsden is the Brad Pitt? I almost feel sorry for her until the camera pulls back to reveal that she has 27 other bridesmaids apart from Akerman and Greer, and each is wearing one of the 27 dresses Heigel wore when she was forced by cruel circumstance to be a bridemaid 27 times. No, Aline Brosh McKenna. No. 

We're supposed to find this funny and charming. Or maybe we're meant to be yelling, "You go girl!" or some equally supportive. I'm not that supportive. 

Even though Heigel's character is marrying today and her sister is stuck with charismaless void Ed Burns and Heigel has scored Marsden, she somehow isn't over her hissy fit about being a bridesmaid all those times. She's still going on about it and has brow-beaten 27 of her girlfriends into wearing these awful frocks. She's like some kind of cult leader.  One of these girls is Krysten Ritter–in what universe is a Ritter character going to cave to a Heigel character? I really hate this movie now and I've only seen 3 and half minutes of it.

This also means that Akerman and Greer have just chosen to wear the same pastel yellow dress, neither of which is one of the 27. It's almost as though they were colluding with director Anne Fletcher to fake us out! Gah! So as the movie comes to an end, and the credits roll, I wonder how Heigel's character could have ended here. What lessons did she learn? What obstacles did she overcome? How is she in anyway appropriate as the woman who has it all at the end of a rom-com? Yeah...right. GREY'S ANATOMY. She and Ellen Pompeo were a thing once. Not a thing. You know what I'm saying. 

I don't exactly feel compelled to watch this movie properly. But having committed under five minutes to it, I feel doubtful that Heigel's character could have done enough for me to cheer her on at the end. It seems implausible. 

HOWEVER: I understand there are only one or two of you who will have read this far into this rambt (rambling rant) but perhaps you can help. Should I go back and watch the whole thing and discover how Heigel is in fact winning (in the pre Charlie Sheen sense) in every scene and challenge my prejudice against her and all her movies? Or should I just crack on with watching all the Ross Kemp "docos"? 

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