Watching 27 Dresses is like dusting off your Sunday finest to attend your umpteenth wedding. You know the routine off by heart; there’ll be all those same slushy moments, at some point someone’s going to get upset and it’s all going to end predictably. But then, despite your cynicism, the sheer romance of it all sweeps you along and you end up having a damn good time...
So, will the congregation be upstanding for the bride. She’s perennial bridesmaid Jane (Katherine Heigl), who’s put the needs of others ahead of her own love life for so long that she’s neglected to find a partner for herself. Which is why she’s secretly pining for her cardboard cut-out boss George (Edward Burns) and not noticing dishy reporter Kevin ( James Marsden), who covers nuptials for the local rag and specialises in locking horns with our gal. Her habitual selflessness is also the reason why she stays schtum when her selfish model sis (Malin Akerman) blows into town, seduces George and breaks her heart.
Like How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days and 13 Going On 30, this slice of cinematic fondant succeeds by tempering the sweet with the sharp. Devil Wears Prada scribe Aline Brosh McKenna’s sassy script gives the equally charming Heigl and Marsden plenty of Gable-Colbert-esque love/hate sniping to do, but also allows them some genuinely heartfelt moments together. Heigl clowns beguilingly in a series of vile dresses but is seriously affecting when she realises her sib has pulled George. Relishing another chance to flaunt his comic chops, a post-Enchanted Marsden pulls off cocky with swaggering ease, but he’s also a (sexy) hoot in the obligatory pissed-up seduction scene – which is never a cinch to nail.
Fun and engaging though it is, stock plot contrivances (would you really split up over that?) and mawkish declaration (“You’d rather focus on other people’s Kodak moments than make one of your own!”) will doubtless stick in the craw of your more cynical side. So it’s best to know your saccharine limit before RSVP-ing to this event.