July 26, 2008

Always the Bridesmaid ; DVDs


27 DRESSES (12)

VERDICT: *****

THEY SAY variety is the spice of life - but if you could spread this week's DVD releases on a sandwich who'd want to eat it?

The pick of the bunch is 27 Dresses, which will find an audience similar to the one likely to enjoy this weekend's cinema release, Baby Mama.

It's a lightweight, romantic comedy which has a lot of fun with wedding dresses.

Grey's Anatomy and Knocked Up star Katherine Heigl has a pleasing demeanour and a sufficient knack for comedy to turn this predictable farce into a cute hit. Like Meryl Streep's superior film The Devil Wears Prada, this was also written by Aline Brosh McKenna.

Heigl plays Jane, a perennial bridesmaid who can't find her own man.She's got a thing for her self-made boss, George (Edward Burns), but only when her younger sister Tess (Malin Akerman) arrives to nab him off her hands does she begin a thorough selfexamination.

After being a bridesmaid 27 times, can she really let her sneaky sibling beat her up the aisle? Especially when Tess naturally wants Jane to organise everything?

Meanwhile, Enchanted star James Marsden is also on the scene as newspaper reporter Kevin. But is he too cynical to leave his romantic mark on Jane?

Following in the dance steps of Hairspray's Adam Shankman, 27 Dresses has been debut directed by one of his choreographers on last year's hit musical, Anne Fletcher.

A 'Benny and the Jets' routine in a bar will be the highlight for many. But it's also kind-hearted enough, and sufficiently sharp, to make for an enjoyable girls' night in.


VERDICT: *****

THIS is where things start to go seriously wrong.

Austrian writer-director Michael Haneke decided to re-shoot this film in English - and it comes over just as cold and pointlessly disturbing as the first time he made it in 1997.A polite young man arrives at a house asking to borrow some eggs.And, once again, it will be some time before he leaves.

So long, in fact, you'll feel like you've done a degree in sociopathy by the time it's over.

Not at all pleasant, despite the presence of stars like Michael Pitt and Naomi Watts who overshadows the unconvincing Tim Roth.


VERDICT: *****

NOW for the intellectual treat of the week - a sort of sideways journey through what passes for Paris Hilton's brain.

Everything seems to go in one ear and then out of the other, with Hilton having nothing like Katherine Heigl's on-screen quality.

As Cristabelle Abbott, Hilton might be all perfect legs, breasts and tan in the eyes of some, but her character is simply vacuous.

Nerdy Nate Cooper (Joel Moore) has been in love with her since schooldays and, when he tracks her down, discovers that she's single.

But, there's a catch. Cristabelle's best friend June Phigg (Christine Lakin / Game Plan) is a real horror and she's the gateway to true love.

The film earns a star for eventually ending and attempting to rework The Ugly Duckling story in a modern setting, complete with a willing Lakin who looks even more revolting than Emma Thompson's Nanny McPhee.

Also available to buy for pounds 15.99 for those with money to burn.

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