9 Reasons I'll Never Watch '27 Dresses' Again
Back in the mid-2000s, Katherine Heigl launched her post-Grey's Anatomy movie career with several big movies, the most memorable being Knocked Up. But for many of us, it was 27 Dresses that truly cemented her as a star. There wasn't a weekend or a sleepover that wasn't complete without at least one viewing of the romantic comedy starring Heigl and James Marsden. As you'll remember, the movie is about a woman, Jane, who has been a bridesmaid a total of 27 times. She loves weddings, and so her friends enlist her to help plan their ceremonies and be a bridesmaid. Unfortunately, Jane is too busy helping friends and working for a boss she's hopelessly in love with to find love for herself, so she lives a lonely life, forced to sit on the sidelines and watch as her little sister, Tess, lies her way into the aforementioned boss' heart. Yet over the course of planning Tess' wedding as, once again, a bridesmaid, Jane falls in love with a cynical wedding columnist, Kevin (Marsden).
It's a movie full of classic rom-com tropes, and was an instant hit upon its debut. And, I admit, I was one of the many who liked 27 Dresses when it was released. My sister even owned the DVD, so it demanded multiple viewings. But looking back, it's not the movie I remember, but instead one full of problems I'm no longer OK accepting. I feel pretty certain that I will never watch 27 Dresses again, and here's why.
1. It Perpetuates The Myth That All Women Want A Big Wedding
Jane wants nothing more than to be the bride at a big, fancy wedding — that's why she gets so invested in the nuptials of her friends. But she's not the only wedding-obsessed woman in the movie. One of the opening scenes features screaming female wedding guests getting ready to fight to the death to catch the bride's bouquet. In the world of 27 Dresses, every woman wants to be the next to get married. And if they don't, then they should.
2. Kevin Is Kind Of The Worst
As a romantic interest, Kevin kind of sucks. He's mean, bitter and completely devious. We get it, dude, you had your heart broken and therefore hate weddings and everything they stand for. Must you be constantly spreading your cynicism? Your pretty face won't always make up for all that negativity, sir.
3. Tess Is Also The Worst
Tess, Jane's little sister who lies her way into Jane's boss' heart and then insists that Jane plan her entire wedding, is awful. She's spoiled, entitled, and literally cuts up their dead mother's wedding dress without telling Jane. Now, it's not that all characters have to be likable or endearing to make a movie good and watchable, but Tess being so destructive and mean is just painful to me on a personal level.
4. Kevin Isn't Persistent, He's Creepy
After meeting Jane, Kevin does everything he can to get her story. He calls, he e-mails, he writes himself into her day planner, and later he takes a job writing about Tess' wedding so that she'd be forced to spend time with him. In some movies, one might call that romantic persistence. But, looking back, it's just straight-up creepy and stalkerish.
5. Kevin And Jane Have An Awful Sing-A-Long
I absolutely loved this scene when I first saw 27 Dresses. Every good movie needs a dance break, and Elton John's "Bennie and the Jets" is a classic. But now it just makes me cringe. It's forced, awkward, and just all-around strange. It doesn't help that it leads Kevin and Jane to have sex the night before Kevin commits the ultimate betrayal by turning her life into a front-page news story.
6. Kevin Violates Jane's Trust
When Kevin publishes his story on Jane — with the totally not sexist headline "Always, Always, Always a Bridesmaid" — he violates Jane's trust and invades her privacy in a way so horrendous, I'm pretty sure it might be illegal. His article is complete with photos he took of Jane modeling all of her bridesmaids dresses that she posed for under the belief that they were just a couple of friends sharing a laugh. Her face is not blurred, her name is unchanged. He violates Jane and betrays her with his article. And yet, she forgives him. Yuck.
7. It's Super White
27 Dresses isn't the first romantic comedy guilty of a little cultural appropriation, but looking back, it's just another strike against a film I have no interest in re-watching. There are a few brief images of Jane wearing various "ethnic" bridesmaids dresses — a kimono and a sari — which, on its own, isn't so bad. However, it does call attention to the fact that the movie features maybe one or two actors of color in negligible roles.
8. It Takes Judy Greer For Granted
Judy Greer has played more best friends in Hollywood than any other actress, but her role in 27 Dresses has got to be one of the worst. She's relegated to making a few funny quips and sexing it up with groomsmen... and that's it. At least in 13 Going On 30, her character was actually interesting.
9. It Ends With A Wedding
Anybody who knows me knows I'm a sucker for a happy ending. I literally did not start watching The Office until I knew that Jim and Pam would probably end up together. I hate when movies do a bait and switch and ruin my expectations for all ending well, and as far as I'm concerned, a romantic comedy isn't really a romantic comedy if the couple doesn't end up together at the end. That said, 27 Dresses is a little too perfect in its conclusion. Maybe it's because Kevin has been so adamantly against marriage, or maybe because of Jane's legion of bridesmaids forced to wear the dresses Jane wore to their weddings (a cruel joke if there ever was one), but for some reason, the ending to 27 Dresses never felt satisfying to me. Do Tess and George really need to reunite at the wedding? Do Jane and Kevin really need to get married so soon? (The answer is no. They really don't.)
Look, 27 Dresses isn't a bad movie, despite these issues. Still, viewing it as I can now, I'd like to think I would change the channel if it came on my TV. Farewell, 27 Dresses. Your time as an ideal rom-com is up.