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Something Borrowed - Movie Review

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Something Borrowed - Movie Review

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2 stars

It’s a bit ironic that in theaters filled with glistening comic book heroes embroiled in clearly defined battles of good versus evil, the romantic comedy counter-program of choice, Something Borrowed, drags us into a murky alternate reality where universally accepted norms, values, and morays are cast to the side, leaving its characters to wallow in a cesspool of self-righteous human indignation. A hazy, dank world where right is wrong, good is bad, and characters try to win without having to face the consequences of their actions.

The film, adapted from the best selling Emily Griffin novel of the same name, is about Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin), an attorney at a top New York City law firm who, as she nears that culturally stigmatized age of 30, is forced to examine her life and the big choices she hasn’t made along the way. The counter to Rachel’s calculated introversion is her best friend Darcy (Kate Hudson), a domineering, self-absorbed, surface-level loving ditz engaged to Rachel’s law school classmate, Dex (Colin Egglesfield).

The film’s central dilemma is set into motion when Rachel discovers that she and Dex had harbored the same mutual affections for one another while in law school… yet neither had bothered to tell the other. When the flaming monster of forbidden love flares up at Rachel’s surprise 30th birthday bash where she sleeps with her BFF’s fiancé, Rachel becomes saddled with how to tell Darcy what she’s done. Or should she even tell her at all? And Dex is faced with an equally daunting predicament, as he’s actually in love with Rachel while his wedding to Darcy looms over him (and the audience) like the sword of Damacles.

Their predicament is the perfect set-up for a goofy little rom-com romp with light-hearted misunderstandings and madcap miscommunications. After all, wasn’t that what Three’s Company‘s 8-year TV run was based on? But director Luke Greenfield and screenwriter Jennie Snyder Urman want nothing to do with that. Instead their story continues to slide further and further into the depths of moral ambiguity, where the things the characters do are only hated more by the characters themselves.

For instance, we’re never given any legitimate reason why Rachel would consider the self-absorbed Darcy such a dear friend for so many years. While their character contrast could certainly make for a fun dynamic, it comes off as both unlikely and unbelievable. Especially when Darcy takes the microphone and turns Rachel’s birthday celebration into a diatribe about herself. Thiers is the film’s most important relationship, but we’re allowed to care about neither.

While Rachel’s forbidden affair with Dex is meant to deliver some kind of message about following your heart, it comes off as trying to force “cheating is OK” down out throat.  And we never buy into the whole Goodwin/Egglesfield chemistry thing either. They just spend a lot of screen time staring in each other’s eyes before launching their faces at one another. Two ambitionless people may be an attraction in real life, but here they’re just meekly drawn wimps without a single thread of moral fiber between them.

Circling around the emotionally vacant trio is a gaggle of friends and hangers-on, including the film’s only bright spot in John Krasinski as Ethan, Rachel’s whip-smart childhood friend. As Rachel’s moral compass and wise-cracking confidant, Ethan stands at a distance, shaking his head in disbelief at the poor decision making skills of his “friends” around him. Ashley Williams and Steve Howey add additional comedic effect as Claire and Marcus respectively. She is Darcy’s satellite with the “hots” for Ethan, he the frat-boy playa’ who loves life as long as it’s easy and he can have fun with the least responsibility.

Surprisingly, Something Borrowed is not as formulaic as one might expect from a “chick-lit” adaptation. But its meandering conglomeration of mixed up values, and confusingly delivered messages make this a poor choice as a brainless alternative to the things going boom in the next theater over.

{2jtab: Film Info}

Somethgin Borrowed - Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content including dialogue, and some drug material.
Director
: Luke Greenfield
Writer
: Jennie Snyder Urman
Cast: Kate Hudson; John Krasinski; Colin Egglesfield, Ashley Williams; Ginnifer Goodwin
Genre: Romance | Comedy
Memorable Movie Quote: "The Hamptons are like a zombie movie directed by Ralph Lauren."
Tagline:
It's a thin line between love and friendship.
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
Official Site:
somethingborrowedmovie.warnerbros.com
Release Date: May 6, 2011
Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available

Plot Synopsis: Rachel is a talented attorney at a top New York law firm, a generous and loyal friend and, unhappily, still single as her engaged best friend Darcy is constantly reminding her. But after one drink too many at her 30th birthday party, perpetual good girl Rachel unexpectedly ends up in bed with the guy she's had a crush on since law school, Dex, who just happens to be Darcy's fiance. When Rachel and Darcy's lifelong friendship collides with true love, it leads to unexpected complications and potentially explosive romantic revelations. Meanwhile, Ethan, who has been Rachel's constant confidante and sometimes conscience, has been harboring a secret of his own, and Marcus, an irrepressible womanizer, can't keep his mind out of the gutter or his hands off any girl within reach.

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