Movie Week: 27 Dresses

Since the Kings didn't sign anyone yesterday in spite of my threats, I'm going to have to up the ante a little bit and review 27 Dresses.  You made me do this, LA Kings.


27dresses_medium

Pretty sweet Labrador face you got going there, Marsden.

 

I must confess: I watch a lot of romantic comedies.  It's partly because I need to hone my skills for Scene It? and because... well, I'm not sure why.  I don't like them; on the contrary, I can't stand them.  And yet, when I'm home alone, flipping through the channels, I inevitably stop on FX or USA or whatever random cable channel is showing The Devil Wears Prada or 50 First Dates or Little Black Book or Hitch or whatever.  It's masochistic, and yet I can't look away.

The other night I was home and happened to come upon 27 Dresses.  I initially stopped because it had Katherine Heigl (ding!).  Then I stayed because it had Ed Burns, official friend of the blog(TM).  I thought, "Hey, how bad could it be?"

The answer?  Bad. Really, really, really bad.  Fuck this movie.

I'll try to re-construct the plot, just in case you haven't seen it (you liar!):

The main character is a neurotic young lass who spends her time pleasing everyone at the expense of herself.  She is overlooked by men for OBVIOUSLY INFERIOR women because men don't like women who do everything to please them.  She has been in 27 GODDAMN weddings because she's so great and friendly and she doesn't have a life of her own.

Oh, and this woman who spends all her time pleasing others and yet can't find a man?  She's played by Katherine Heigl.

What.

I am honestly baffled by this casting choice.  Katherine Heigl has two main characteristics: she's hot as fuck, and she's a miserable shrew.  She is the exact opposite of the character she's supposed to be playing.  The whole movie ends up being bizarre, as people ignore and depreciate this big-titted blonde girl because, hey, they never catch a break, right? Heigl scowls and rolls her eyes throughout the movie and you try to figure out if she's doing it because she doesn't really want to be a pushover or if it's because those are the only two things she can do.

So the whole story is that Katherine Heigl is in love with her boss but he doesn't appreciate her because big-titted blonde girls that cater to your every whim are not marriage material.  Anywho, her boss (played by the dashing and wonderful Ed Burns) doesn't notice that she's constantly fawning all over him because he's too busy running an eco-business and rock climbing or some ridiculous shit.  Then her sister comes into town and meets her boss and they fall in love instantly, because a guy who ignores Katherine Heigl would be all over Malin Akerman.

Oh, and she's been in 27 weddings.  How the fuck has she been in 27 weddings?  I don't know 27 people I like, let alone get along with well enough to be in their weddings.  Oh, and there all crazy theme weddings because the person who is close personal friends with someone who would have a rodeo wedding would also be a close personal friend of some goth chick.  Fuck you, film.

Oh, AND her best friend is a complete psychopath.  I never understand in romantic comedies when they have a "quirky best friend" who is completely ridiculous and not someone the main character would hang out with.  Why would a chick who is really nice to everyone hang out with a girl who's mean to everyone?  It doesn't make sense.  The weirdest part is that they make Heigl laugh at all the cuh-raaazy things her friends does and says, which makes it seem like Heigl is just as big a bitch but without the spine to actually say mean things.  This is our protagonist.

Anyway, Heigl's planning her sister's wedding to the man she loves while fending off advances from James Marsden, because why would a woman be attracted to a good-looking young writer with a cynical mask he wears to hide the heart of gold underneath?  (Sounds familiar, no?)  After James Marsden steals her planner and then shows up at a party she's at, they... wait, what?  OK, I guess he doesn't technically "steal" her planner, she leaves it in the cab he insists they share, but he doesn't return it right away either.  And hey, if the whole point of this movie is that no one appreciates the writer of this movie the main character, why make the one guy who does notice her a creepy weirdo? 

James Marsden is ridiculously good-looking and kind of a creep; he also writes about weddings, despite the fact that he thinks marriage is dumb.  Why he doesn't just find another job is beyond me.  He's secretly planning on writing an article about Heigl because some lunatic who owns an entire closet full of bridesmaid's dresses is good stuff.  Marsden and Heigl bicker and he slowly wins over by being a creepy weirdo... I'm not sure how, actually.  In real life she would have gone on a date with him despite not wanting to, they would have hit it off, and they would have gotten married.  Right?  That's how life works.  But no, instead they get drunk and sleep together and she tries on all 27 bridesmaids dresses for him.  I would have been over it by dress 4, but that's just me.

It also turns out that James Marsden really does love weddings, he's just bitter because his fiancee left him at the altar to run away with his best friend.  And yet he writes about weddings all the time because I guess he likes to re-live that experience over and over again?  Again, dude, just find another job.  People who write about weddings don't get transferred over to the "investigative journalism" division.

Marsden ends up writing an article about Heigl and puts in pictures of her in her dresses, which makes her mad... is it just me or are romantic comedies doing the whole "They're a journalist and they revealed everything in an article and now I'M MAD!" thing a lot lately.  Just off the top of my head, Hitch, How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days and this movie all do that.  It's dumb. It's an artificial obstacle to put in the way, a speed bump that takes the place of actual character development.  Why can't he get tired of her not giving up the dream of marrying her boss and leaving her?  Oh right, because this movie is not good.

Anyway, he writes an article, she gets mad at him, and then she ruins her sister's wedding by telling her boss about how her sister lied about liking the same things he did... wait, what?  That doesn't seem like a proportional response.  So what if her sister doesn't like the same things as him; she tried, right?  Maybe she tried because she liked him?  Even if the marriage was doomed once her sister stopped trying... she's still your fucking sister, right?  Why would you do that to her?  Oh, it's because she used your mom's wedding dress to make her own.  I guess that's supposed to be a big deal.  I'll concede that I may be off on this one because I'm not a girl. 

(But really, her mom probably got married in the '70s.  Have you seen wedding dresses from the '70s?  Hope you like big floppy hats and lace all over the place!)

After Katherine Heigl publicly humiliates her sister and ruins her life, she then kisses her sister's former fiancee, the man she's been in love with for years, and then says, "Hey, I don't like you," and goes off and marries James Marsden.  Sure, why not. 

27 Dresses is insane.  The only rational way to watch the movie is if you treat Katherine Heigl as the villain of the film.  Think about it: she's a shrill, insecure woman who is jealous of the success of others because she doesn't have the stones to take charge of her own life.  She's a pushover and she blames everyone else for it.  She's so busy daydreaming about meeting the perfect man that she almost lets a perfectly nice guy get away.  Oh, and there's that whole ruining her sister's life thing.  At the end she does find a backbone, but it's to yell at people for not knowing how she really felt when she never fucking just told them in the first place how she felt.

It's a terrible film and encourages every negative stereotype that are used to keep women from being happy: the idea that you have to find a husband to be happy; the idea that men like it when you're bi-polar; the idea that if you push a man away he'll come back even harder; the idea that open and honest communication is a terrible idea; the idea that the attractive girl you know is a bitch and deserves what's coming to her; the idea that it's more important to find someone then be happy with yourself.  I've never been angrier at a movie.  Remember, ladies: don't go after that man who ignores you, be with the man who steals your planner, gets you drunk, and fucks you.

...Actually, wait, what am I talking about?  I love this movie.

(The worst part?  This movie made $160 million dollars worldwide.  I'll never understand women.)

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