out of Five
Running time: 107
Hugely enjoyable, frequently funny romantic comedy with a superb script and a terrific central performance from Katherine Heigl.
What's it all about?
Katherine Heigl stars as Jane, a perennial bridesmaid who has planned 27 of her friends' weddings over the years and has 27 hideous bridesmaids' dresses to show for it. Her own romantic hopes are tied up in her Mr Nice Guy boss (Edward Burns), but that all goes horribly wrong when her flighty sister (Malin Akerman) blows into town and sweeps him off his feet.
Before she knows what's hit her, Jane finds herself in the horrible position of having to plan her own dream wedding for her sister. Meanwhile, cynical wedding journalist Kevin (James Marsden) insists on shadowing her every move while covering the wedding for a magazine.
Katherine Heigl is wonderful as Jane, creating an extremely likeable, deeply sympathetic character that we completely engage with – indeed, if Heigl doesn't have a massive Meg-Ryan-in-the-90s-style career after this, then there is officially no justice. In addition to being an accomplished comedic actress she also has terrific chemistry with co-star James Marsden.
This being a romcom, there's never any doubt as to where it's all going, but the superb script throws in a number of unexpected moments along the way. It also manages to breathe new life into some of the genre's staple cliches, such as the dress-up montage and the bar-room sing-along scene (destined to become a classic of its kind – it's brilliantly directed, superbly acted and even manages to be crucial to the plot).
In addition, the script crackles with good dialogue and Fletcher keeps things moving along at a decent pace, while there's strong support from the likes of Akerman, Burns and a tired-looking Judy Greer as Jane's wise-cracking best friend.
27 Dresses is likely to be one of the best romcoms of the year, thanks to an engaging central romance, a frequently laugh-out-loud funny script and a star-making performance from Katherine Heigl. Highly recommended.