Monday, May 19, 2008
Movie Reviews: 27 DRESSES & TEETH
Jane (Katherine Heigl) is the living embodiment of the old saying "always a bridesmaid, never a bride." Just when she thinks her life can't get any lonlier, her sister Tess (Malin Akerman) announces her engagement to the man of Jane's dreams. But which sibling will eventually end up standing at the altar first?
Cast Katherine Heigl, James Marsden, Malin Akerman, Edward Burns, Melora Hardin, Judy Greer (more)
Director(s) Anne Fletcher
Writer(s) Aline Brosh McKenna
Status On DVD
Release Date Jan. 18, 2008
DVD Release Date April 29, 2008
Running Time 107 minutes
MPAA Rating PG-13 - for language, some innuendo and sexuality
27 Dresses is exactly the kind of movies that really gets under my skin. No it's not because it's a romantic comedy, when done well I've enjoyed my fair share, but because it's exactly the cookie cutter mass produced garbage that major studios have no issues releasing because they know it'll make a profit on a fairly inexpensive production. 27 Dresses isn't the worst movie ever made but its fair from the best. Watching its tired plot play out is like watching a movie you've seen before and to be honest you have. There is nothing new here and everything falls exactly the way you'd expect it. It's an exercise in familiarity. Heigl's character is about as original as a Big Mac. Heigl puts in as much effort as the movie does in breaking new ground. She delivers lines like she's doing a read through on an unfinished pilot. There isn't an ounce of emotion that feels real throughout the entire film. Marsden is equally uninspired, not that I can blame either of them, as Heigl's antagonist / potential love interest. Edward Burns' performance here makes cardboard look lively. About the only character that seems to have any life is Judy Greer's and she's given woefully little screen time as Heigl's wacky friend. The film is scripted by Aline Brosh McKenna who scripted the wonderful The Devil Wears Prada but was also responsible for the romantic comedy Laws of Attraction so I guess her skill varies wildly, 27 Dresses being the low end of scale. Not to mention that the general ideology of the movie seems to be transplanted out of the 1950s since apparently women can't be happy unless they find Mr. Right. This listless Mad Lib of a movie is directed with a bored hand by Anne Fletcher, also responsible for the cinematic masterpiece Step Up, who knows this movie wouldn't be a complete masterpiece unless it has bad karaoke and a montage of Heigl in all, gulp, 27 Dresses.
Dawn (Jess Weixler) is a shy teenage girl who actively resists the temptation to give in to her hormones, so she stays very active in her school's chastity group. However, when she's sexually assaulted, she discovers that her genitals have teeth, and they bite!
Cast Jess Weixler, John Hensley, Josh Pais, Hale Appleman, Ashley Springer, Vivienne Benesch (more)
Director(s) Mitchell Lichtenstein
Writer(s) Mitchell Lichtenstein
Status In theaters (limited)
Release Date Jan. 18, 2008
DVD Release Date May 6, 2008
Running Time 88 minutes
MPAA Rating R - for disturbing sequences involving sexuality and violence, language and some drug use
Teeth is an interesting movie to say the least. Its premise is cringe inducing and shocking, the kind of idea that really can have some bite, puns maybe intended or may not throughout. Lichtenstein seems to have a lot of ideas bouncing around in this sometime funny sometime gory romp through adolescent. It can be a fable of feminism empowerment which verges on superhero territory; I know it's odd but the ending just reminding me of the old Incredible Hulk TV show for some reason. It can also be taken as a statement about our evolution as a species or even an indictment of overzealous religious fundamentally. Needless to say it's a shot gun approach at a statement movie which results in an unfocused experience where you're never really sure what the movie is trying to tell you. It's a choppy experience that can be inspired at times and lulls at others. There are subplots going on that really don't go anywhere or aren't explored enough especially to make them important to the main story. Still you have to give Lichtenstein credit for trying something different even if he doesn't seem willing to go all the way in terms of shock value or social critique. New comer Jess Weixler, who looks like Heather Graham's little sister, give a wonderfully appropriate performance which gives her character a realistic sense of general naivety and bewilderment as she comes to grip with her circumstance. Weixler is very good but then again she doesn't really have any competition as the rest of the characters in the film are poorly crafted one dimensional creations. Sadly, this lack of supporting characters makes the film feel longer than it actually is. Not a good thing for a fairly short movie. Still, if you have a clear understanding of what you're getting into before hand, Teeth can make for an interesting experience.