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FILMOFTHEWEEK 27DRESSES(12A) Though set in con­tem­po­rary Man­hat­tan, Anne Fletcher’s old hat of a ro­man­tic com­edy has its flut­ter­ing heart in the 1950s, an era when ev­ery girl was thought to yearn only for a big fat white wed­ding to the man of her dreams. Why, it’s al­most like that nasty old fem­i­nism never hap­pened. Meet Jane Nichols (Kather­ine Heigl). She’s twen­tysome­thing, gor­geous, with her own home and a pre­sum­ably highly paid job as an ex­ec­u­tive as­sis­tant. She also has 27 brides­maid’s dresses in her wardrobe, each a re­minder of happy times at other peo­ple’s nup­tials. Jane yearns to one day ask for a re­turn of the favour, and she al­ready has a groom in mind, her dull but kindly boss Ge­orge (Ed­ward Burns). He, how­ever, is obliv­i­ous. Now meet Kevin Doyle (James Mars­den), a re­porter who writes about wed­dings but hates them with a vengeance. He can’t wait to ditch the so­ci­ety stuff to write about war and crime. Within min­utes of sit­ting down, you can tell where the story is head­ing. Usu­ally, pre­dictabil­ity is half the charm of a ro­man­tic com­edy. With a happy end­ing al­most guar­an­teed, the di­rec­tor’s job is to make the jour­ney novel and in­ter­est­ing. Fletcher is hav­ing none of that and hauls her movie straight up the aisle in lead­lined boots. Con­tent to be just an­other bland chick flick, it opts for the scream­ingly ob­vi­ous at ev­ery turn. BACKTONORMANDY(12A) In 1835 Pierre Riviere, son of a Nor­mandy farmer, plunged a bill hook into the heads of his mother, sis­ter, and brother. In 1975, di­rec­tor Rene Allio made a movie about the mur­ders. Now, Allio’s as­sis­tant di­rec­tor, who was 24 at the time, has turned in a doc­u­men­tary about the shoot­ing of that film. Though a clever idea, Philib­ert’s doc­u­men­tary strug­gles to fill the run­ning time. There is such a thing as too much de­tail. Filmhouse, March 31-April 3 THEHOT­TIE­ANDTHENOT­TIE(12A) In Tom Put­nam’s de­press­ing com­edy, Paris Hil­ton is Crista­belle, glam pal to ugly bug June (Chris­tine Lakin). Can Crista­belle play Cupid? How long did Paris train to per­fect that “dazed and con­fused” act­ing style? Was that jail term long enough? An­swers: yes, dunno, and not even close. The whole set-up is so dull and in­sult­ing that no-one should es­cape blame. DRILL­BITTAY­LOR(12A) Owen Wil­son joins Judd Apap­tow’s gang for this geeks’ com­edy pro­duced by the di­rec­tor of Knocked Up and co-writ­ten by one of its stars, Seth Ro­gen. One might have hoped for a fun­nier, sharper film than this. Drill­bit Tay­lor – the name of Wil­son’s down-and-out hero, who passes him­self off as a pro­fes­sional body­guard for three geeks be­ing mer­ci­lessly bul­lied in their first year of high­school – is low on laughs, though high on charm. FIRSTSUN­DAY(12A) Ice Cube plays Durrell, a down-on-his­luck small-time crook and straight man to Tracy Morgan’s Lee John Jack­son, a mo­tor­mouth dimwit. In debt to a tough Ja­maican gang­ster and serv­ing 5000 hours com­mu­nity ser­vice, Lee John con­vinces Durell to rob the lo­cal church of its main­te­nance fund-rais­ing cash. Well-in­ten­tioned but pre­dictable, First Sun­day ben­e­fits from like­able per­for­mances from the leads but one would have liked a brighter script and less pedes­trian di­rec­tion.

Retro: Kather­ine Heigl in 27 Dresses

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