27 Dresses – Getting Involved with Your Resource & Letting Your Source Know The Actual Story
A little on the writer who wrote the movie: Aline Brosh McKenna
27 Dresses is a fun romantic comedy from 2008, starring Katherine Heigl, James Marsden and Edward Burns.
27 Dresses isn’t just a good example for having a writer character, but it is also successful on its own right as a film. Having made $160,000,000 at the box office with its $30,000,000 budget, it is an encouraging example for writers who want to sell their romantic comedy scripts. Since its dialogue is pretty witty and more original than most romcoms, taking a look at the screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna’s other work is a good idea.
She has written or co-written We Bought a Zoo (starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson), Morning Glory (starring Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton), Laws of Attraction (with Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore) adapted script of Devil Wears Prada (starring Meryl Streep.)
And while all of these movies weren’t hits, she has been able to sell her work since the late 90s, and it is hard not to be impressed when you look at who has said yes to her stories.
Now that you know a bit more about the writer behind the writer (played by James Marsden), let’s look at the movie- though you might want to stick to my movie review if want a less detailed (and not-spoiled) summary where I focus on the whole movie-and not just Kevin.
Still with me? Great.
The Writer Character : James Marsden
Kevin Doyle (James Marsden) is covering weddings (under the name of Malcolm Doyle) for the commitments section of the New York Journal and dying to get out of it. Unfortunately he is quite good at it, and his editor doesn’t want to assign him something else. And while he can make women swoon with his romantic words, he is really a cynic who doesn’t believe in any of it.
Jane (Katherine Heigl) is a big fan. A true romantic, she collects his articles and hopes that one day she will also be a bride at a dream wedding. And if there is anyone who can handle planning a wedding, it is her. She has been a bridesmaid 27 times, helping the brides do everything from dress selection to cake tasting. She doesn’t mind helping them, but she’d be much happier if the man of her dreams, her boss George (Edward Burns), just fell for her. But not only George is unaware of her affections, he sees her as a good friend and an assistant.
It’s during a wedding craze (and by craze, I mean two weddings in one night!) that she meets Kevin. He is instantly entertained by her efforts, and when he gets to ride the cab with her, he realizes that she is a rare species. Sure, she loves her weddings like most women- but she has met been to 27 weddings as a bridesmaid, and has switched back and forth between two weddings and two dresses in one night.
So he doesn’t return the planner she forgot on the cab until after he pitches his story idea to the editor and gets the promise of finally leaving commitments if he can pull it off. And when he returns the planner, he has made sure Jane will call him.
But for all Jane knows, Kevin is a cute albeit extremely cynical guy trying to get a date- and she is too busy trying to get over the fact that her boss falls for her sister Tess, almost as soon as he meets her. Then they decide to get married, and Kevin gets to cover the wedding.
Now poor Jane has to plan the wedding, and to face the fact that her favorite columnist is no romantic. He’s just some other guy who thinks marriage is slavery and wedding industry is out to get everyone. But Kevin charms his way back into Jane’s company since it is for “Tess and George”.
But while collecting the material for the paper, Kevin develops a crush on Jane-who has turned out to be a lot more fun and interesting than he initially thought. Jane is also starting to think he is not all bad, especially when she notices that his cynicism might be about to fact that he was once left by his wife for another guy.
But of course we have 2 conflicts for Kevin: he has to change his story before his editor can run an article that doesn’t make Jane look that great, and he has to make Jane realize that she does deserve better than just the fantasies of a guy she can’t have.
And just when Kevin might have gotten what he wanted – Jane romantically interested in him, he has unfortunately gotten the other thing he wanted: his story on the front page, his possible ticket out of the section. Of course things go horribly awry when Jane sees it. Then there is also the spoiled Tess, supportive George, Jane’s frustration with Tess and anger towards Kevin…
Yes, I know you know who will get the girl and why, but it is a worthy ride as the dialogue is a lot of fun, and the casting is just right- especially James Marsden who doesn’t annoy anyone apart from Jane-and we all know how her mind is going to change.
Ethics, Professionalism and Courtesy
But the movie’s delightfulness aside, it does bring up questions about professionalism and ethics, doesn’t it? If I were Jane, and met a very cute guy who seemed to want to hang around with me, I wouldn’t suspect that it was for a story. Even though he told her he was a writer, she didn’t know what he wrote.
And even after she knew, she thought he was just getting info for Tess’ wedding – and stayed longer for the company, though I might have been suspicious about all the pictures he took. But then again, he never wrote an article on a perpetual bridesmaids’ misfortune before so why would he start?
If I found out what Jane found out, I’d be pissed too. And if I were Kevin…well, I don’t know. I would like to think I deserve my high horse and wouldn’t write things I didn’t want to. And even if I did end up with an only chance to get to a better column, I’d like to think that I wouldn’t use anyone for it- crush or no crush.
But being stuck doing something you despise can get to your head, and if I were dumped by my spouse for a friend of mine, and forced to produce wedding article after wedding article – after going to the weddings, of course, I would probably be at least tempted. (As romantic as I am, I do agree that most weddings have the food and music to torture people. There can be no other explanation!)
Were you ever in a similar situation as Kevin? Were you tempted not to reveal your true intentions to your source/inspiration?
I know we are the writers, but what would you if you were Jane? (and she did slap him, didn’t return any calls and didn’t seem to forgive him fully after his heartfelt speech.)