Australian Council on Children and the Media

Twenty-seven (27) Dresses

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Short takes

Lacks interest under 8, PG to 12 (Sexual references and coarse language)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Twenty-seven (27) Dresses
  • a review of Twenty-seven (27) Dresses completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 10 January 2008.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Lacks interest for this age group
Children aged 8-12 Parental guidance recommended due to sexual references and coarse language
Children over the age of 12 OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Twenty-seven (27) Dresses
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild coarse language and sexual references
Length 108 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Jane Nichols (Katherine Heigl) is an attractive young woman with a seemingly incurable fascination with weddings.  Jane has personally arranged the weddings of twenty-seven friends and relatives, acting as bridesmaid on each occasion.  Jane is also an avid reader of newspaper journalist ‘Malcolm’ Doyle’s (James Marsden) wedding column, and has a collection of many of his articles.

Unfortunately, Jane appears unable to engineer her own romantic attachments, largely due to the long-standing infatuation she has had with her boss George (Edward Burns).  Entirely unaware of this situation, George begins dating Jane’s younger sister, Tess (Malin Akerman).  The obvious difficulty Jane faces with their relationship is magnified by the fact that Tess has purposely misrepresented herself to George as an outdoorsy, vegetarian animal lover (all traits that George finds appealing).

Meanwhile, Jane unwittingly meets her favourite writer ‘Malcolm’ Doyle, who introduces himself as Kevin Doyle (his real name).  Kevin becomes interested in writing an article about Jane and her wardrobe of expensive bridesmaid dresses.  However, after completing the first draft of this article, he begins to fall in love with Jane and changes his mind about publishing the story.  Kevin’s hard-nosed editor (Melora Hardin)  decides to print the article anyway, which deeply hurts Jane and leaves her feeling betrayed.

After a great deal of soul-searching, Jane realises that her feelings for George were never based in reality, and that, despite everything that has happened, it is Kevin that she loves. 

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Family conflict

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • A heated argument between Jane and her sister Tess, during which Tess throws several hardware items at Jane.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • In one scene, a photo is shown of Tess holding what appears to be a dead cat.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by the above mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children over eight are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children over thirteen are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Jane flippantly remarks to a patronising aunt about the ‘hot sex with strangers’ that her sister will miss out on after her marriage.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Jane and Kevin begin kissing passionately in the car.  The suggestion is clearly that they have sex, but no graphic details are shown.
  • Several segments early in the film where Jane is changing clothes in the back of a taxi.  Viewers see the occasional bare leg and back, etc, but such nudity is implied, rather than overt.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Several scenes depict people drinking alcohol.
  • In one of these segments, Jane and Kevin are shown consuming large amounts of alcohol, until they are quite drunk.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Boobs
  • Asshole
  • Bitch
  • What the hell
  • Oh God

In a nutshell

27 Dresses is an enjoyable romantic comedy directed by Anne Fletcher.  This film is pitched at young females aged over the age of twelve, but may also be entertaining to older audiences.  

The main message from this movie is that true love is not beyond anyone’s reach, although it may not look the way we imagine it should.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include loyalty, truth and fairness.
This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the negative consequences of being deceitful.

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