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'27 Dresses'

Katherine Heigl was a graceful presence in Knocked Up — as graceful, anyway, as it's possible to be in a muumuu and stirrups. And it's perfectly natural for a performer to want to cross up expectations the next time out. But did Heigl have to go for a script as reductive and condescending as this one-joke comedy about being in love not with a person, or even with love itself, but with weddings?

The premise is that a woman who has turned her closet into a shrine to her friends' bad taste and marital extravagance — with 27 variously ghastly bridesmaid dresses preserved as a monument to her own self-sacrifice — is adorable, as opposed to certifiable.

The filmmakers have given her a suitor — wedding reporter James Marsden, who inexplicably thinks that writing about a girl with a closet full of bridesmaid's dresses will be his ticket off the society pages and into hard news. And they've surrounded the couple with something borrowed (Malin Akerman, recycling her abrasive Bridezilla routine from Heartbreak Kid), something blue (a hangdog Ed Burns), and nothing remotely worth watching.

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Bob Mondello, who jokes that he was a jinx at the beginning of his critical career — hired to write for every small paper that ever folded in Washington, just as it was about to collapse — saw that jinx broken in 1984 when he came to NPR.