27 Dresses

27 Dresses (2008)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Cast: Katherine Heigl, James Marsden, Malin Akerman
Extras: Deleted Scenes, Featurettes

"27 Dresses" is the latest romantic comedy directed by Anne Fletcher, (who also brought us the recent travesty called "Step Up"), starring Katherine Heigl as Jane Nichols, a young woman who has an almost psychopathic obsession with being a bridesmaid and being walked all over by her family and friends.

The film introduces our main character by showing us one of her more obsessive compulsive outings, and it is completely implausible. She is frantically going from one wedding to the other and changing bridesmaid outfits in a cab she reserved for 300 dollars for the night (you see, not only is she codependant, she even foots the bill for her bizarre behavior). Her insane travel arrangements that night do not go by unnoticed by a young writer named Kevin Doyle (James Marsden) who is covering one of the weddings for one of his popular pieces in a New York paper (in a section called 'Commitments'). When she is knocked unconscious after almost catching the bouquet at the first wedding, it is this writer who helps her up and accompanies her home.

I had problems with this film from the beginning. I'm so tired of these unrealistic romantic comedies where the lead female has to be clumsy, completely bland, and treated as a pushover when it is obvious from the beginning that they will have their makeover and get what is coming to them in the end.

On the way to her apartment (which is completely spotless and over set decorated, a.k.a. a millionaire's idea of struggling), the two get in a debate about weddings in general. And since they are arguing we know what that means as sure as we know that a slow camera panning across a pair of gardening shears means someone will die by the tool in an upcoming scene… But not in this film, sadly.

I kept wondering why this woman had such low self esteem when her life seemed so perfect. She is only thirty years old and has her own place in Manhattan, where she has one of those predictably perfect looking jobs as personal assistant to a sports magazine publisher named George (Edward Burns), whom she happens to be infatuated with.

She is also somewhat obsessed with reading a particular writer's work in the local 'Commitments' section of the paper, and due to his pen name, she has no idea it is the writer she met when she was out wedding hopping. He stalks her and tries to get her to go out with him, but she acts like there is something unlikeable about him, even though he looks like a GQ model and has the manners of a saint. Supposedly she has tunnel vision on the man she really has a crush on: her boss, George.

But when her beautiful and spoiled sister Tess (Malin Ackerman) the model and resident diva comes to town to verbally and mentally abuse her, she makes the mistake of introducing her to George and sparks fly. Soon she is living in her own nightmare, as she is forced to obsessively arrange a wedding for her sister and the man she thinks is Prince Charming. So the rest of the film is just watching her go through a nervous breakdown while ignoring the man who really cares about her, until of course… I'll save the rest for you to discover. This isn't really a movie, it's a movie with weddings as a concept to sell a lot of movie tickets.

This film is so predictable and boring I simply didn't get it, although I know full well there is a huge audience for this type of fluff. The characters are so unreal that even though I like many of the actors and actresses in the film, they just were too plastic. I especially hated the bar scene where Doyle and Jane create a sensation by doing an impromptu version of 'Bennie and the Jets' where the whole bar is cheering them on. It made me cringe, literally. My wife didn't get it either and she normally loves romantic comedies, and that makes this one hard to recommend except for the obsessive romantic comedy completist, and I know there must be some of them out there.

As for the video, it truly looks magnificent, framed at 2.40:1, the release is actually a 50 GB Dual Layer release. Go figure, and "Ice Age" is 25 GB (but still looks great)? But I'm not complaining, the colors are very vibrant and the detail certainly looks almost three dimensional at times. The flesh tones seem very accurate and the film is simply beautiful to look at, featuring a very sharp picture and decent black levels. This is what a new release should look like.

The audio also delivers, featuring a DTS HD 5.1 Master Lossless Audio that more than captures the soundtrack. Although this isn't the type of film that is heavy in the surrounds or the LFE channel, the dialogue comes through nice and crisp and the music is also very nicely rendered. Fox obviously has done a magnificent job by utilizing DTS HD on all of their releases, and I am excited to learn that Universal will follow suit with their future Blu-ray releases, reportedly.

The special features are utterly predictable as you may expect, but they are in high definition. We have the usual self congratulatory usual mind numbing amounts of film clips and interviews that is the main focus of its primary featurette, 'The Wedding Party', which runs 15 minutes.

We also have a look at the costume design for the dresses called 'You'll Never Wear That Again' and an odd mini documentary (5 minutes) about an annual wedding dress sale and the women who go nuts over the dresses. We also have a five minute presentation called 'Jane's World' about how they made a realistic New York City.

Finally we have four minutes of 'Deleted Scenes' that were wisely taken out.

Although this movie is one hundred percent forgettable, I must say I am happy that Fox continues in the tradition of putting out quality releases, featuring a good transfer and DTS HD Master Lossless Audio, and special feature in high definition, I hope 20th Century Fox keeps them coming. Everything about this Blu-Ray Disc is top of the line, except of course the film itself.