April 22, 2008 -- There is nothing new under the sun, and that, of course, includes romantic comedies. This film uses the same formula, but it executes the formula better than most other romantic comedies do. It is funny, entertaining and romantic.
Katherine Heigl of “Knocked Up” stars as Jane Nichols, always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Of course Jane is so beautiful, smart, successful and nice, one wonders why she's still single. You would suspect she has a dark or wacky side or some other hidden reason she's still available. In this film, we do get sort of an explanation for Jane's unmarried status, and an explanation for the single status of another character, Kevin Doyle (played by James Marsden of “Enchanted”). He turns out to be Jane's love interest in the story. The part of the funny friend, Casey, is played by Judy Greer of “The Grand.” The other love interest is Jane's boss, George (Edward Burns of “Confidence”). The other main player in this story is Jane's sister, Tess Nichols (Malin Akerman of “The Heartbreak Kid.”
Jane organizes a lot of weddings. One night, she ends up as a major player in two weddings at once. In one of those weddings, she encounters Kevin Doyle, a writer of social events for a New York newspaper. Doyle is fascinated by Jane and decides to do a story about her when he finds out how many weddings she regularly attends. The odd thing is that Kevin is Jane's favorite writer (he writes about weddings in the local newspaper), but somehow she doesn't recognize him. They go through the usual awkwardness of not liking each other at first. Jane's boss, George, falls for Jane's sister, causing her to become angry and jealous, even as she plans her sister's wedding. This throws her into the arms of Doyle, but that is a rough landing as well when she discovers Doyle's real identity. When Jane finally does stand up for herself, she drops a real bomb shell.
This is a pretty typical plot outline for a romantic comedy, but it does take some interesting twists here and there. The characters are interesting and well-defined. The romance is on a fairly adult level, although a couple of characters do get drunk before having sex. The problem with romantic comedies is that once the main characters fall in love, the story is over, so plot devices have to be invented to keep the two main characters from falling in love until the very end of the film. This story has an additional romance which gets torpedoed in spectacular fashion. This nearly results in another, unexpected, romance. Needless to say, everything works out in the end. This film rates a B.
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