27 Dresses

This film was almost completely formulaic. Perhaps, someday, an enterprising quantitative movie reviewer will come up with a way to measure the deviation of a film from its genre ideal. For instance, this movie would not score a perfect 1.0, because the boy-girl fight was a bit too brief.

Don’t get the wrong impression. There are many venues where boring conformance to the norm is to be preferred — perhaps, regrettably, including programming. Romantic comedies, I suspect, are in this zone, or nearly so. Which is a way of saying that I had an ok time, at least I didn’t spend the hours crying.

While watching this I did have enough spare time to wonder whether this kind of movie represents a particular phase of an actress’ career — similar to the way that writing an editor or window manager marks a particular development in a programmer’s career. Someone out there makes a living advising aspiring actors on these topics. I find that interesting, maybe even comforting.

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  • The biggest problem I saw in 27 Dresses, which I agree was a thoroughly mediocre film, is that, although it was a plot point that the sister was prettier than the star, in fact the star was much more attractive. I can’t believe none of the people making the movie noticed that.

    I think a reasonably recent romantic comedy which was notably good was 50 First Dates. And, it goes without saying, Pride and Prejudice, which was really excellent.

    Anyhow I’m really writing to point you to this: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/03/movies/03scot.html?scp=1&sq=A+Fine+Romance%2C+My+Friend%2C+This+Is&st=nyt

  • That’s a nicely written essay, and I thought of your recent blog post about classic literature while reading it.

    I think that essay is somewhat unfair. 27 Dresses is not a great film. Comparing it to great films from past generations is silly. And, there have been great films in this genre, and every genre, in our lifetime.

    Also, mentioning Bringing Up Baby is especically bad, since that is a different genre — one which seems a bit dormant, unfortunately.

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