Film Review: 27 Dresses

I feel like I found out my favourite love song was written about a sandwich.”

27 Dresses

I would just like to point out that this is entirely Teenaged Sister’s fault. I was quite happy watching Come Dine With Me.

27 Dresses, a favourite of TS’s, is a rom-com starring Katherine Heigl, which should tell you everything you need to know about it. The cutesy premise upon which it’s all hung is that Jane, a super-efficient PA in love with her boss, has been a bridesmaid at 27 weddings – hence the 27 dresses – but has never been a bride. Jane has to learn to start saying “no” to people and stand up for what she wants.

It turns out, of course, that what she wants is a guy. And her own wedding. The film wants to see her 27 bridesmaid dresses as de facto evidence that she’s unfulfilled: we’re not supposed to think “she’s been a bridesmaid 27 times; she’s a good friend to a lot of people” (although she clearly is that) or “ she’s been a bridesmaid 27 times; she enjoys planning weddings” (she doesn’t, although they are apparently her single hobby); we’re supposed to think “she has 27 bridesmaid dresses and not one wedding dress. How sad.”

Can you imagine making the same assumption about a man (substituting appropriate apparel)? No. The film tells us that it’s not OK for a woman’s life to revolve around planning other people’s weddings not because it implies that she spares no time for herself but because it implies that she can’t get a husband of her own. It tells us that women should stand up for themselves not in order to get a better job but in order to get a better man (and even then she should feel guilty about it). Jane leaves her job when she realises that she’s only in it because she’s in love with her boss, but we never see her getting another one; her quitting her job is really only a symbol for her getting over George. She leaves one man in order to marry another (in this case, a cynical stalkerish asshole who works at the newspaper).

Besides which, the film is utterly predictable at all points (I did enjoy Jane’s thorny relationship with her sister, though that too revolved around A Man), as well as not actually being very funny.

Bleurgh. I hate rom-coms.

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