“27 Dresses” – Susan Granger reviews

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Psst! Wanna sneak off to an old-fashioned chick flick?

Jane (Katherine Heigl) is a serial bridesmaid. One night, she’s even double-booked, shuttling by taxi between one wedding in midtown Manhattan and another in Brooklyn. Without doubt, self-effacing Jane is the most efficient, accommodating friend in the world, always putting others’ needs before her own, particularly her clueless boss, George (Edward Burns), on whom she has a secret crush.

But Jane’s put to the test when her spoiled, self-indulgent, seductive sister, Tess (Malin Akerman), breezes into town and steals not only George’s affections but also their mother’s wedding gown. Skulking in the background is a cynical newspaper reporter (James Marsden) on the wedding beat. He loathes his job and figures that a story on Jane’s nuptial fixation would make a great front-page feature for his section, adorned with photos of her in all of the garish bridesmaids’ outfits that she has squashed in her closet.

Katherine Heigl successfully springs once again to the big screen from TV’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” having ventured before in “Knocked Up,” and Judy Greer’s terrific as her tough-talking best-friend. Curiously, in both of her recent big-screen outings Heigl has chosen to play a character whose demeanor totally changes when she gets drunk at a local bar.

So why is this romantic comedy old-fashioned? Because the underlying message is that, basically, a woman’s life is meaningless without marriage.

Nevertheless, screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna (“The Devil Wears Prada”) and choreographer-turned-director Anne Fletcher (“Step Up”) create a funny screwball farce, mocking the fashion police and brazenly “borrowing” from better wedding-themed movies. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “27 Dresses” is an amusing 7, a fluffy, frivolous indulgence for those of us who still enjoy the occasional wedding fantasy.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.