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Today's word on journalism

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Grammatically Speaking:

"We owe much to our mother tongue. It is through speech and writing that we understand each other and can attend to our needs and differences. If we don't respect and honor the rules of English, we lose our ability to communicate clearly and well. In short, we invite mayhem, misery, madness, and inevitably even more bad things that start with letters other than M."

--Martha Brockenbrough, grammarian and founder, National Grammar Day

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Women will cry, men may laugh at '27 Dresses'

By Maddie Wilson

January 23, 2008 | She felt like she had "just found out (her) favorite love song" was written about a sandwich.

This sentence, muttered by main character Jane (Katherine Heigl), portrays the hopelessly-devoted-to-love tone of Anne Fletcher's 27 Dresses. Any woman can sit back, watch this movie, cheer for and cry with Jane, being able to completely relate to her frustrating love life. Any man can join in too, but will probably prefer to laugh at the funny Bridezilla jokes instead of putting himself in Jane's high heels as she courageously attempts to control the emotional strife in her life.

Jane's non-stop life revolves around two entities: work and weddings. When she's not at work, she's at a friend's wedding serving as maid of honor, which is not always so honorable. She faithfully takes care of any request of the bride, which ranges from ordering the cake to holding up the bride's dress while she uses the bathroom. Jane never utters so much as a complaint, even when she has to change maid of honor dresses in the backseat of a cab as the driver takes her to and from two weddings happening at the same time.

After a day of work and weddings, Jane goes home to stuff her latest frilly outfit into her closet bursting with her past maid of honor dresses, all of which stand as reminders that her special day is nowhere in sight.

Things change, however, when Jane's blond, flirty, younger sister, Tess (Malin Akerman), comes to town for a visit and wins the heart of Jane's boss, who Jane is madly in love with, but has no intentions to ever tell him. George the boss (Edward Burns) quickly proposes to Tess, resulting in heartache for Jane (who happened to awkwardly witness the proposal, which involved tubby men serenading with violins). Never one to cause any strife, Jane accepts the position of maid of honor for her sister with a polite, but forced smile.

About this time in'the movie, prince charming shows up to the pleasure of all the females viewing the movie. Brown, curly-haired, blue-eyed wedding reporter Kevin (James Marsden) enters the scene as he takes on'the assignment to cover Tess and George's wedding. Kevin becomes more fascinated, however, with the story of Jane's 27 maid of honor dresses, and frankly with Jane herself.

Tension builds in the hearts of the -- most likely -- female viewers as Jane's emotions run wild while she enviously watches smooch after smooch from Tess and George while trying not to act flattered at Kevin's sudden interest and requests for drinks. Her patience is pushed to the limit as Jane gets stuck running wedding errands with Kevin -- he insists he must be present for all wedding preparations to gain background for his article. Kevin somehow seems to force Jane to look inside herself to see the damage she is really causing herself, and Jane does not appreciate having to do that. It brings out her pent-up anger until it finally unleashes and Jane breaks down in a bar with Kevin, lets herself get completely drunk, dances on'the counter singing along to Bennie and the Jets, and ends by making out with Kevin for everyone to see.

Most of the female viewers would be complacent if the movie ended here with Jane falling into the loving arms of handsome Kevin. But, Hollywood knows better than to give the audience what they want. There has to be some conflict. So drama breaks out between Kevin and Jane, Jane purposely attempts to ruin Tess' life, and if it weren't for the sisters' wise, understanding father Hal (Brian Kerwin), the plot might have crash landed.

27 Dresses never has a slow moment, and keeps the audience laughing out loud. If you fall into the category of the sentimental but funny, chick-flick-loving audience, go see this movie. It will leave you with a tear in your eye and a laugh in your belly.



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