Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here.
Yes, yes, crapping on a Kate Hudson romantic comedy is like shooting the proverbial fish in a barrel, but that's not going to stop me from doing my job, nay, my duty to warn you off going within 100 yards of a theater playing it. I'll give SOMETHING BORROWED points (OK, a point) for trying something a little different, even if it fails. But like so many rom-coms of late, the problem lies in the characters. More specifically, every character in this film is aggressively unlikeable, albeit for very different reasons. Even the relationship at the center of SOMETHING BORROWED is troublesome, because I simply never bought that Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Darcy (Kate Hudson) would have every stayed friends since they were kids, as the film claims.
Rachel is a lawyer, which makes me laugh right off the bat, because nothing about this woman says "lawyer." She dresses like small-town librarian and the personality of tap water. But we know Rachel a lawyer because we see scenes of her in law school studying with Dex (Colin Egglesfield), a fellow law student she has a crush on. The two meet for drinks one night when Darcy shows up unannounced and challenges Dex to either ask Rachel out or ask her out. When Rachel balks at the proposal and saying they're just friends, Dex asks Darcy out and Rachel gets her wishy-washy heart broken.
Cut to a few years later, Darcy and Dex are weeks away from getting married, Rachel is the maid of honor, and on her 30th birthday, she gets drunk and, oops, trips and falls onto Dex's penis. If I had a nickel... Anyway, it's ultra-clear courtesy of the heavy-handed directing style of Luke Greenfield (THE GIRL NEXT DOOR) that we're supposed to be rooting for Rachel and Dex to get together by the end of the film. And we know this because Darcy is such an appalling, controlling person that no one would be friends with her for decades except a walking doormat like Rachel. It's literally an abusive relationship, and those aren't any more fun to watch on screen than they are in person.
And then we move onto the men in Rachel's life. Pretty soon, Rachel and Dex start meeting regularly, beginning a full-on affair while the wedding is still being planned. Dex is an indecisive user, so once again, Rachel has found someone else to walk all over her. Oh, and then there's the bizarre friendship she has with Ethan (John Krasinski), who is, I guess, her male best friend. She meets him for coffee or lunch every so often and tells him everything about her life; they're the least convincing a pair of best friends I've ever seen on film. Let's take inventory here. He's straight, single, and always around. Hmm, let's start betting now on how far into this damn-near-two-hour film he professes his love for Rachel.
The machinations of this terrible script from Jennie Snyder, based on the Emily Griffin novel, are a mess. And while I'm sure a movie can be (and has been) made in which the adulterous couple are the heroes, it just comes across as scuzzy in SOMETHING BORROWED. The film isn't quite as actively ugly as BRIDE WARS, but it's not for lack of trying. I find Goodwin adorable and appealing as an actor most of the time. Hell, I even thought she elevated the proceedings in HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU a couple years back. But she's going out of her way to look like an idiot in SOMETHING BORROWED, and I don't just mean her character.
And while every once in a great while, Hudson might pull off something worthy like last year's THE KILLER INSIDE ME or ALMOST FAMOUS (and yes, I have to reach back that far to find something else she was good in), she seems to have settled into this god-awful groove (more like a trench) from which I fear she will never return. It's always just a little sadder when the pretty ones die. In all likelihood, if you're planning to see this movie, my review isn't going to change your mind; I can't believe you've even bothered to read this far. But if you're on the fence about going or contemplating dragging along your significant male other to this on a date, please have mercy. We'll put up with a lot for women, but don't make us hate you for doing so. SOMETHING BORROWED is that hate.
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