27 Dresses

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
27 Dresses Movie Poster Image
Frothy wedding romcom is fun but filled with profanity.
  • PG-13
  • 2008
  • 107 minutes
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 62 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Nothing too bad for the romcom genre, though there are the requisite plot-driving shenanigans: A woman pretends to be someone she's not to land a fiancé ... who happens to be the man her sister loves; a reporter deceives a woman, making her think he's writing about something else when she's actually the subject of his exposé; a woman humiliates her sister at her engagement party. The overall message (that women aren't happy unless they're the bride, instead of the bridesmaid) feels a bit dated.

Violence

A woman slaps a man (hard) after he wrongs her; two sisters argue loudly, with one throwing objects at the other.

Sex

Deep kissing and making out (on a couch and in a car); sexual innuendoes (e.g. "walk of shame" and hooking up at weddings); a woman stands in her lingerie during a dress fitting.

Language

A fairly generous sprinkling of the word "s--t," plus "whore" and "a--hole."

Consumerism

Visible/referenced brands include Budweiser (a bottle appears fairly prominently in one scene) and Filofax; the dressing room of Amsale, a wedding dress designer, is shown in one scene.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Lots of drinking at wedding receptions; in a major scene, the two leads get plastered after drinking lots of hard liquor and beer.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that although this film is fairly charming and no more objectionable, content-wise, than most other Hollywood romantic comedies (that is, if you don't object to movies that fully embrace romcom clichés), there is a fairly liberal sprinkling of swear words (particularly "s--t") and drinking. The message -- that women aren't truly happy if they're always the bridesmaid but never the bride -- verges on being a little overly retro, but since the movie is so frothy, it manages to get away with that such old-fashioned thinking. Star Katherine Heigl was in the hit comedy Knocked Up, so teens (particularly girls) will likely be interested.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13 and 15 year old Written byswtpeaami July 25, 2009
My daughter and I liked it. Typical sibling rivalry, loves lost, then new loves gained. Good chick flick. One "sex scene" didn't show anything em... Continue reading
Adult Written byBoiseNoise April 9, 2008

Offensive and Vapid

This sounded like the type of movie I would really enjoy, but it was a big disappointment! The offensive language and behavior was constant and distracting.... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byParamoreFan09 January 19, 2010

Ehhhh...

If you are a mature 10 year old... you can handle it. "s***" is used and "f***" once but it blurs out before you hear anything bad... you on... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byfroststar May 31, 2011

good!!but......

just lots of bad language and drinking!!!

What's the story?

Jane Nichols (Katherine Heigl) is a people pleaser to the core; she'll happily twist herself into a pretzel juggling two weddings in one night and playing second banana to Bridezillas -- which is how she's ended up in more than 20 wedding parties. Enter Kevin "Malcolm" Doyle (James Marsden) -- the journalist who writes Jane's favorite wedding column -- who helps her see how debilitating her selflessness has become. They hate each other at first, but then (no surprise) wind up together. Meanwhile, Jane's millionaire boss (Ed Burns) doesn't realize that she's madly infatuated with him. Instead, he falls for her vampy but vacuous sister, Tess (Malin Akerman).

Is it any good?

How anyone could swap Jane for Tess is a serious mystery -- just one of a number of 27 DRESSES' irritating, albeit small, flaws. On the other hand, there are some rewards -- like Judy Greer, who plays Casey, Jane's saucy, witty best friend. The movie also benefits from director Anne Fletcher's light-and-easy style (thankfully, she doesn't take the subject matter seriously) and, more importantly, the Heigl's effervescence. She and Marsden have great chemistry, making their predictable arc fairly entertaining.

The verdict: Brilliant 27 Dresses isn't, and there's something dated about the idea that a woman isn't happy when she's playing bridesmaid instead of bride. Considering that the movie was written by Aline Brosh McKenna, who also penned the bitingly exquisite The Devil Wears Prada, a bit more inventiveness shouldn't have been out of the question. But anyone who's donned a bridesmaid dress and has a romantic streak will enjoy this conventional confection -- consider it a no-guilt slice of wedding cake.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the film's message. What's wrong with being a bridesmaid? Is a woman truly not happy if she's never the bride? How does Hollywood contribute to this thinking? Families can also discuss weddings: Have they become, as one character says in the movie, an industry that capitalizes on romantic ideals? What truly makes a wedding special, if it's not the presents, the fancy dresses, and the over-the-top receptions?

Movie details

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