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Movie Review

27 Dresses

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language, some innuendo and sexuality.

Reviewed by: Mia J. Best
CONTRIBUTOR

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Romance, Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 47 min.
Year of Release:
2008
USA Release:
January 18, 2008 (wide—3,000 theaters)
Sneak showings made on Sunday, Jan. 13
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.

About Marriage in the Bible

Bride

Couple in love. Photo copyrighted
What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer

Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Discover biblical answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more.
Featuring: Katherine Heigl
Knocked Up,” “Bride of Chucky,” “The Ringer

James Marsden
Superman Returns,” “X-Men,” “X2

Edward Burns
Saving Private Ryan,” “She’s the One,” “The Brothers McMullen”

Judy Greer, Malin Akerman, Maulik Pancholy, Alexa Havins, Krysten Ritter, Chuck Slavin, [more]
Director: Anne Fletcher
“27 Dresses”
Producer: Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, Becki Cross Trujillo, Jonathan Glickman, Jeffrey Silver, Erin Stam
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.

“Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.”

review updated January 30, 2008

What little girl hasn’t fantasized about her trip down the aisle in a dress usually reserved for princesses to see her prince, her knight in shining armor beaming at her as she approaches to take his hand in marriage and begin her happily ever after? For Jane, the fantasy is all consuming, a quiet little obsession, which she thinks is a calling and nurtures through helping everyone else’s fantasy become a reality. Thus, she becomes the perfect bridesmaid, paying attention to every little detail as if it were her own, living vicariously through the happiness of others while she hopes “someday it will be my day.”

Katherine Heigel is wonderfully warm as “plain” Jane who is always the bridesmaid in this by-the-numbers romantic comedy “27 Dresses.” Written by Aline Brosh McKenna (“The Devil Wears Prada”), the film makes fun of the wedding industry and culture by relying on several age-old jokes, like women vying to catch the bouquet and, of course, the dreadful bridesmaid dress which brides think can be worn again by simply shortening it.

Although this film is predictable and a bit formulaic, Katherine Heigel is a delight to watch and completely believable as Jane. James Marsden, perhaps best known as Cyclops from the “X-Men” trilogy, plays Kevin “Matthew” Doyle, a cynical wedding writer eager to find his “ticket out of the taffeta ghetto.” Marsden seemed to rely on his boyish grin throughout his performance. Malin Ackerman has a Cameron Diaz quality to her look but gave only a passing performance as Jane’s bratty sister Tess. Even with mediocrity surrounding her, Heigel’s performance will have audiences rooting for Jane to find true love. At least the Hollywood version of true love, that is.

[What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer]

For the Christian who knows that true love is much more than a fairytale, this movie will still be entertaining. Jane’s character is much like Martha in Luke 10:38-42, busy and pre-occupied with the well being of others so much that she doesn’t take the time to nurture the relationship that will benefit her own well-being.

The most glaring misuse of scripture was Marsden’s character misquoting 1 Corinthians 13 saying, “Love is patient, love is kind, love is slowly losing your mind.” Midway through the film, Heigel’s character says she is “Jesus” in response to a snide comment by Doyle. There were at least five or more references to God or Jesus Christ’s name taken in vain. The use of profanity was an average of 20 or more references for the entire movie. The first instance of such profanity does occur within the first five minutes of the film, however. Another use of profanity was purposefully masked when Jane screams a partially heard sexual expletive in exasperation.

There were two brief sexual encounters shown, both outside of marriage, but most was left to the viewers’ imaginations. Some of the humor was based on sexual innuendo and getting drunk. There was no nudity shown. One scene implied nudity but did not reveal anything more than a woman’s shoulders. In addition, there was a scene with an actress in a corsette and tap pants (or boy shorts) revealed for a couple of minutes prior to putting on a wedding dress.

Overall, I would recommend this movie for adults because Jane's character is believable and relatable to many women. Although most of the jokes are familiar, they are still amusing. I do not recommend this movie for children due to the profanity and sexual innuendo.


Here’s what the distributor says about their film:Katherine Heigl, who earlier this year got “Knocked Up” in the motion picture comedy from Judd Apatow, and nabbed an Emmy® for her starring role as a surgical resident in ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ is always a bridesmaid but never a bride in the romantic comedy ‘27 Dresses.’ From the screenwriter of ‘The Devil Wears Prada,’ ‘27 Dresses’ centers on Jane (Heigl), an idealistic, romantic and completely selfless woman… a perennial bridal attendant whose own happy ending is nowhere in sight. But when younger sister Tess captures the heart of Jane's boss—with whom she is secretly in love—Jane begins to reexamine her ‘always-a-bridesmaid…’ lifestyle.

Jane has always been good at taking care of others, but not so much in looking after herself. Her entire life has been about making people happy—and she has a closet full of 27 bridesmaid dresses to prove it. One memorable evening, Jane manages to shuttle between wedding receptions in Manhattan and Brooklyn, a feat witnessed by Kevin (James Marsden), a newspaper reporter who realizes that a story about this wedding junkie is his ticket off the newspaper's bridal beat.

Jane finds Kevin's cynicism counter to everything she holds dear—namely weddings, and the two lock horns. Further complicating Jane's once perfectly-ordered life is the arrival of younger sister Tess (Malin Akerman). Tess immediately captures the heart of Jane's boss, George (Edward Burns). Tess enlists her always-accommodating sister to plan yet another wedding—Tess and George's—but Jane's feelings for him lead to shocking revelations… and maybe the beginning of a new life.”

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.



Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—I truly loved this movie! It was a joy to watch, if you are a hopeless romantic like myself. While the movie was not perfectly clean, it was much better than the norm these days. … My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5 —Angela Altimus, age 27
Positive—I think this movie was very good. I went to see it with my youth group. There is just one part of the movie with premarital sex but other than that this was a Great movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Bri, age NA
Neutral
Neutral—Excellent review. I read it before I went to see the movie, and I still agree with it after seeing the film. But I found the movie only mildly entertaining. It is too formulaic for my taste. Heigl's performance, however, was excellent. There were a few worthwhile messages, for example, it is worth waiting for the right one, and in the Christian world, this would mean God's best, and also that marriage should be based on truth and sufficient knowledge of the other person's character and values, and not based on mere impressions.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
Halyna Barannik, age 61
Neutral—…The use of the phrases “my God” and “oh my God” over and over again was disturbing, and the language was gratuitous, not to mention the sexual suggestiveness of Jane's friend. …My wife and daughter (a senior in college) enjoyed the movie, as did I, except for the aforementioned parts. …
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Rob, age 52
Neutral—I really enjoyed this movie! If you like chick-flicks with happily-ever-after endings, this is a great one. It's incredibly cheesy, but it's sweet. By today's standards it's offensive content was mild, but it was still there and it still offended me. There were some instances of swearing, as well as some innuendo and (off-screen) premarital sex, and these things bothered me not only because they are morally wrong, but as they were entirely unnecessary and seemed to take something away from the movie. There was a scene where the main characters get very drunk. One character is incredibly selfish and mean, and another holds in all their anger and eventually explodes and really hurts someone else. This was especially sad as this character is usually very kind and usually displays a Christlike attitude (with some exceptions). If you like romantic comedies, this one is cute. It's not fantastic, but it will make you smile, and you'll probably want to see it again. However, I'm not sure it's exactly glorifying to God. (Which is also sad, because it really could have been.)
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Jessica, age 24
Negative
Negative—I wish I realized this disjointed and hapless film was directed by choreographer Anne Fletcher who so poorly directed the practically unwatchable and morally repulsive “27 Dresses.” Sadly I believed some lying review claiming this to be the best Sandra Bullock film since “While You Were Sleeping.” So with high expectations I spent way too much money seeing this poorly executed film. Can they really not find any better directors in Hollywood? Sandra Bullock and Mary Steenburgen are two of the best actresses in film, and to lose their characters in an amateur way. It is like they shot the first draft. This movie is super lame. It starts out well and totally goes flat, with very little character revealed so you never believe they are in love. Then they add all kinds of stupid crass stuff to make it totally off tone. Totally not the actors fault, who did their best with this hapless meandering film. Rent while you were sleeping, one of the best films ever.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—missy, age 40s (USA)
Negative—This movie was so offensive. Although I do think they miss a great opportunity to make a great story of being a women who doesn’t compromise in order to fine her true love. There was numerous usage of the (Sh) word and other offensive words too. Worse is the message that this movie is sends to adolescent girls and to women…is that premarital sex is fine that have numerous sex partners is fine and therapeutic and that being a wonderful nice girl doesn’t pay until you compromise. Our heroine ends up getting so drunk and looses her inhabitations and has sex with almost a complete stranger that really beautiful NOT! The message clearly is that having sex in cars with someone you don’t love is fine and fun. Revenge is the way you can make your life will turn out like you desired. Also another terrible message is that feelings are your gage to love and sex and a single kiss can tell you weather you are in love. Sounds like the movie “Enchanted” which was clearly a fantasy. I was amazed at how many young girls were in the audience behind was a women with two little girls so young and impressible that one ask to be carried out she must have been 4 or 5. So if you plan on seeing this movie, which I don’t recommend, don’t bring your daughters, for it dishonors all that the Word of God teaches us and it hurts the heart of God that we continue to be entertained while compromising our Christian walk. I normally don’t see any movies with swearing and now I will defiantly wait till I can read a review. Col. 1:10 Col. 1:9-10

For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Sharon, age 46
Negative—I went to see “27 Dresses” last night with a friend and was very disappointed! Although I enjoyed the story line, and thought Katherine Heigl did a great job as Jane, the language, in my opionion, was very offensive. My friend and I exchanged glances many times during the movie because of the foul language. Jane's good friend had a very vulgar mouth, and seemed to be all about “getting naked.” I'm certain she was meant to be an entertaining and funny character but I did not find her so! This could have been a great movie if it wasn't for the language and the sex in the car between the two main characters. Why does a potentially good movie have to be ruined by horrible language? Also, Jane saying she was Jesus was very offensive. Why do filmmakers have to abuse His beautiful name and misuse scripture, as Kevin Doyle did in the film? Leave Jesus out of it, as He had nothing to do with the film in the first place! I would not recommend this film if you are very sensitive to foul language and sexual references. I just couldn't ignore it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Marnie, age 37
Negative—This is a shallow, trashy movie about a young woman named Jane who acts like a servant, but without a servant's heart. Jane serves as a bridesmaid and general support to 27 friends, not because she seems to care about them, but because she loves weddings and the idea of romance. And the years of servitude and self-sacrifice build up resentment in her until the day her boss, whom she has loved for years, falls for her self-absorbed sister. And Jane decides that she will no longer subvert her own wishes and desires to please others. This revelation isn't based on an understanding of her worth before God, but on the fact that she's resentful of her sister, and tired of being a servant and getting nothing out of it. So she proceeds to wreck her sister's relationship (which is based on lies) in a very underhanded and mean-spirited way. Like most romantic comedies, this one has a happy ending, but I disliked the characters so much I found I did not care.

Although this is rated PG-13, I really thought it should have been given an R rating because of the language and the adult elements.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Ashley S., age 45
Negative—Not only was this movie morally offensive talking about sex with strangers, but the role of the main character is a terrible example to young women. Sure she is cute, but she has a very low opinion of herself, behaves like a doormat serving her so-called friends joylessly in countless errands. And it was interminably boring. One of the worst wastes of time ever. I am a fan of Katherine Heigl, but this is poorly directed and absolutely stupid.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Krissy, age 45
Negative—I do not recommend this movie and unlike the person who reviewed this movie said, not even for adults. I did watch unfortunately, this movie with my two teenagers. Needless to say, we spent a lot of time discussing the values, morals and lies proclaimed in this movie when it came to how relationships are to come about, true love and marriage. I kept waiting for at least one redeeming value to happen, but it never came.

The language was unnecessary on many occasions could have been left out. Although the acting is decent, the story is predictable and uninteresting. Please listen to the negative reviews for this movie. They are correct. This movie is not worth your time or money. I'm sad to see how many young people reviewed this movie as positive.

Please go to the Bible and to the Lord to understand true love and his truths about sex and martial relationships. If you follow His ways, you will find true love, joy and peace. We all want to find true love and a happy marriage, but it does not come by following the ways of our culture. Please realize we need to be intentional in renewing our minds with God's word.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Brenda, age 40 (USA)
Comments from young people
Neutral—I liked this movie, but the first time I saw it, I felt uncomfortable. I liked it because it is about a girl who doesn't know how to stand up for herself and can't say no and finally realizes that it is okay to have your own opinion and that saying no can be a good thing. It also shows that marriage is a good thing.

I didn't like the fact that this movie contained so many sexual “jokes” and that several of the characters ended up sleeping together and nobody ever said that it was wrong (although the movie doesn't necessarily make it look like a good thing considering one of the girls is betrayed by the man she slept with). Overall, it was cute and I enjoyed it, and it didn't contain as much objectional material as many PG-13 movies do. But if you want to see a better chick flick, I would watch “The Wedding Planner,” “IQ,” or “Sabrina.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Sarah Christensen, age 18
Positive—…I really enjoyed it. It was funny, cute and the ending didn't leave me disappointed; it left me feeling happy and glad that this movie was good. It was definitely not a waste of money. If you’re a girl who loved “The Devil Wears Prada,” this movie is perfect for you.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Heather Usher, age 17
Positive—27 Dresses was a GREAT movie, it was a sweet little love story that was loved by my 15 year old sister and my mom. It did have a few words that were used quite a few times, but it wasen't overwhelming. And the sex it has mentioned is not really in the story at all. It shows some kissing and then in the morning she is covered with a sheet. I love it, and I would recomend it for all age groups.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Melissa, age 13
Neutral—Good plot line good actors and story but It did have some sexual content and spontainious bad sayings my advice is if your over 15 pay the 3 bucks to rent it and 1. fastforwd when they leave the bar and go to the car that broke down 2. ignore everything the bestfriend says. Has some bad words I don't think it has the Lord’s name in vain I'm not possitive.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Jessica, age 17
Neutral—This is an “okay” movie. The plot line is pretty clique, pretty predictable too. It has humor, but since this is a PG-13 film, young children should not see it. True, it has sex scenes, but they are pretty brief. They do make many other references to sex, and that may bother many parents. I have JUST been able to watch some PG-13 movies myself. It can be “cute,” and I do recommend it to romance lovers (My mom loved it).
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Rachel, age 12
Positive—This film was wonderfully co-ordinated, and it had a nice ending.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Marisa D Smith, age 14
Neutral—Starting with the good points is that it was a pretty clean movie other then a couple of scenes in it. They did not use a lot o language and they made it cute to were teenagers could watch it. I know for teenagers out there it I vary hard to pick the right movies to watch, but this one would be put as average with me.

Think of it this way teens, Would you watch this with you mom, would you watch it with your pastor or pastor’s wife and most important would you watch this with God???… I know that there are scenes in this movie that are done out of the will of God, and there is no way around that or anything that can make it better. It is pure sin, but that douse not mean we have to watch those scenes. I believe that it all depends on were your convictions are out at. If you would answer no to the questions up there, then I would not watch it, but if you would watch this movie with those people then there is nothing stopping you from watching this. But do this unto God and his ways!!!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Angle, age 14
Positive—I think that this movie was a pretty good movie. Though it wasn't what I was expecting at all from just seeing the previews on TV.
It could have been cleaner, and I was disapointed that I actually expected that from Hollywood.
Also, in relation to the movie, I think that some of the problems that the main character, Jane, faces is real in some of our lives today. She was too stretched between all of her cometments, and was at the point where she was about to crack from all the pressure put on her to be the perfect bridesmaid. And the whole “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride” can take its toll on you. Making a person wonder why God hasn't brought around a perfect person for you.
I thought that it is a relatable movie, with good actors that delivered their lines at perfect times.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Charley, age 15
Positive—I LOVED “27 Dresses.” It is one of my favorite movies. It has curse words that it does not need, and there is not as much nudity as they say that there is. I'm twelve and a half, and I don't think that it is that bad. I think that the overall story is wonderful.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Elise, age 12½ (USA)