Review: Something Borrowed
PLOT: When Darcy decided to marry Dex, she knew that it was a match made in heaven. With her BFF Rachel as her maid of honor and a beautiful wedding being planned, nothing could go wrong. Nothing, that is until Rachel and Dex realize they are in love and begin to see each other behind Darcy’s back. Ah, ain’t love grand?
SOMETHING BORROWED is based on the popular novel by Emily Giffin. Directed by Luke Greenfield (THE GIRL NEXT DOOR), the film stars a likable group including Ginnifer Goodwin, Kate Hudson (we’ll get to that later), John Krasinski and Colin Egglesfield. There are even a couple of laughs to be found in the script written by Jennie Snyder Urman. Sadly, when I say a couple of laughs I literally mean maybe two or three funny moments. In fact, this story of friendship and betrayal is sort of pathetic thanks to characters that don’t really seem to give a damn about anybody but themselves.
Much like this year’s incredibly funny and heart-warming BRIDESMAIDS, Borrowed features two best friends dealing with the changing tides as one of them is about to be married. Things get really hurtful when the nice girl Rachel (Goodwin) and the groom-to-be Dex (Egglesfield) realize that there is something between them. The film - and for the most part, the novel – allows you to forgive Rachel because her best friend is something of a shallow and selfish woman named Darcy (Hudson). Well isn’t that great? You can root for the couple while they screw around on the ditz!
It’s not necessarily a moral problem that was gnawing at me while watching this comedy, although the characters certainly are self-centered and oblivious to other people’s feelings. The fact that these people have very little regard to those that they may hurt is only part of the problem with this story. You don’t necessarily have to like an individual in comedy for it to work - Michael Douglas and his brilliant performance in the comedy/drama A SOLITARY MAN comes to mind. Yet Rachel, Dex and Darcy feel as though they are merely stereotypes that exist in the rom-com world strictly to get from A to B. Besides, they could have easily addressed this situation without screwing over everyone around them.
Let’s talk about Kate Hudson. She certainly has a fan base, and she works a lot, so what is stopping her from stretching her actor muscles and taking on a role truly challenging for her? Some might see this as her chance to shine. As Darcy, she gets to tackle the “shallow” role as a woman completely obsessed by her own issues. And frankly she does a nice job at being the bimbo that you don’t really feel anything for. What might’ve been fascinating would be playing her as a nice girl too, who doesn’t deserve her best friend ruining her life. People always make mistakes and have questionable motives for when they hurt others. Why not give Rachel a little bit of honesty and make the cheating have a little more impact on all of those involved?
As annoying, self-absorbed and boring as the characters are, the film also suffers from not being funny most of the time. The strange entanglements only offer a slight reprieve with an occasional laugh. There is very little charm hidden underneath the confusion and untruths that plague Rachel and Dex. And as if to add insult to injury, the one likable character played by John Krasinski is equally guilty of not "growing a pair” and speaking his mind. All of this makes Something Borrowed a cliché filled romantic comedy that sticks to the obvious by allowing the audience to sympathize with Rachel since Darcy is such a pain in the ass. There is very little romance and even less heart in this ice cold romance.
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