Andy Bockelman: '27 Dresses' a sweet and satisfying flick

The old adage, "always a bridesmaid, never a bride," is brought to life in the new flick, "27 Dresses."

Ever since the age of 8, Jane (Katherine Heigl) has been in love with weddings of every kind. Her knack for arranging every detail of a ceremony makes her very popular among her engaged friends, but this gift is more of a curse.

Organizing everything from the bride's dress to the wedding cake leaves her little time to catch the bouquet whether literally at the reception, or figuratively in reality.

This makes her hopeless infatuation for her boss, George (Edward Burns), all the more forlorn. When she finally works up the nerve to tell him how she feels, she is just in time to introduce him to her younger sister, Tess (Malin Akerman).

George and Tess hit it off instantly, and before Jane knows it, she has yet another wedding to plan. The 27 bridesmaid dresses that she has saved from previous weddings loom threateningly as Jane wonders if she can bring herself to wear a 28th.

Heigl is fun as Jane, a true romantic who is stuck in her thankless role as the doormat of the matrimonial circle because of her people-pleasing nature. Akerman does just as well as her flighty and rather manipulative sibling.

James Marsden is amiable as Kevin, a newspaper columnist whose heavily praised wedding announcements are not at all indicative of his position on the institution of marriage; his initial goal once he meets Jane is to construct an article about her plight as an uber-bridesmaid, but he soon gets closer to his case study than he intended.

In comparison, Burns is unusually dull as George, who is painted as the perfect man minus his poor taste in women.

Judy Greer rounds out the lineup as Jane's party-hearty gal pal, Casey, who has the expected amount of tactless dialogue for someone in the conventional best friend role.

Best defined as a melding of "The Wedding Planner" and "Hitch," this romantic comedy has hardly anything new. Despite this shortcoming, the movie is still quite fulfilling based on its own merits.

Although it contains little of the sardonic wit of screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna's adaptation of "The Devil Wears Prada," there are some truly funny moments.

The obligatory fashion montage featuring the gowns in question (including swimwear and a three-piece suit) at least serves a purpose, and the movie's running time is just right. Thanks to these assets, the movie remains enjoyably simple.

Sweet and satisfying, "27 Dresses," is an affable, if not outstanding, affair, even if you have not been privy to nearly 30 weddings yourself.

The movie is now playing at the West Theater.

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