Time: 111 mins.
Genre: Romantic Comedy
SYNOPSIS: After serving as a bridesmaid 27 times, a young woman wrestles with the idea of standing by her sister's side as her sibling marries the man she's secretly in love with.
BOTTOM LINE: A clever idea for a romantic comedy that actually works well enough due to the spunk and sweetness of Heigl in her first solo staring role. While being a bridesmaid 27 times seems hard to believe, once you get to know Jane it's easy to understand. Heigl makes her smart, giving and funny, which should be enough to land the man of her dreams, her boss George (Burns), but he fails to see her as anything more than a friend...and his trusty assistant. She fell in love with weddings as a child and being a bridesmaid keeps her hope alive that someday that perfect, magical day will be hers. Of course, her plan goes awry when her perfect younger sister Tess (Akerman) shows up and steals the attention and affection of George.
She tries to suppress her feelings and move on by spending time with Kevin (Marsdan), a cute, yet cynical writer for the local paper, who's been forced to bide his time composing fluff pieces for the wedding section. He wants to be a real reporter and sees the perfect chance for an entertaining story once he meets Jane and sees her closet. He tries to woo her, but her heart belongs to another, so she fails to see the love waiting right in front of her. Of course, once the article comes out, she wants nothing to do with Kevin and takes her anger and frustration out on her sister, who hasn't been remotely honest with George about who she is, which only makes Jane even more angry about her failed love life.
As one can guess, it all ends well for Jane, who does find the man of her dreams. Just not the one she initially hoped for. How anyone who's been part of 27 marriage ceremonies can still believe in wedded bliss is a miracle that Heigl pulls off. (I attended 10 weddings in a year and just the thought of another makes me want to scream.) This is Heigl's show and she keeps the piece fun and interesting, being both adept at comedy and drama. The sequence where she tries on all the dresses is priceless and painfully funny. I can't say I entirely bought the romance between her and Marsden, who was charming and clever, but failed to really produce "the spark" with Heigl that a film like this demands. They came off more as friends than lovers, but they're attractive actors and in the end they generated enough emotion to make their connection believable, if not the stuff of true love. While not the most romantic film of all time, it's a good story that's well-crafted and hits all the right notes for those who like this sort of flick.