Something Borrowed left me flummoxed—yes, flummoxed, I say! While I enjoyed the film overall, I found its main characters totally annoying and/or despicable. How does that work? I mean, usually in a romantic comedy you’re supposed to want to root for the underdog because he’s/she’s a goodhearted, lovelorn lad/lass pining away for an unattainable (or so he/she thinks!) member of the opposite sex and everyone can see that they would just be so perfect for each other. [Insert collective sigh from female audience.] But although that is the very scenario presented in Something Borrowed, with Ginnifer Goodwin in the role of Pining Rachel and Colin Egglesfield as Studly Dex, I wanted the two to get together solely because they both sucked so badly that they deserved each other. Kate Hudson’s character, the self-absorbed and attention-needing Darcy, who is engaged to Dex and best friends with Rachel, also sucks, but in a “Hey, Deal With It!” way and not a sniveling, wimpy, whatever-shall-I-do? way like the other two. What’s more, I found it absolutely impossible to believe that Darcy and Rachel would be lifelong besties, just as I found it absolutely impossible to believe that Dex would ever want to spend the rest of his life with such a loudmouthed, overbearing limelight-seeker.
I never read Something Borrowed, so I’m not sure if this is how the players in the love triangle were originally intended to come off. What I do know is that for every formulaic scene that made me cringe with its generic lines or longing looks or confessions in the rain, there was another—usually involving John Krasinski’s character Ethan (Rachel’s best guy friend)—that had me laughing out loud or wanting to clap when Ethan not-so-sublty pointed out how lame everyone around him was. It was like he was reading my thoughts. Sing it, brother! If he hadn’t been in this movie, I might not have been able to stomach how Rachel kept gazing at Dex with expectant puppy-dog eyes after they slept together yet he still showed absolutely no signs of calling off his and Darcy’s wedding. Sure, Dex looks like he could be Tom Cruise’s Risky Business-era twin, but remember, ladies: beauty fades yet asshole-ery is forever!
As for Darcy, I liked her simply because she had a personality, and she owned it. Kate Hudson was the perfect actress for the role; she can embody a flighty, selfish bee-otch like no other. And while I said earlier that I couldn’t imagine Darcy and Rachel as best friends, there was one scene that rang true: the dance routine the two performed to Salt-n-Pepa’s “Push It.” Guys might laugh and think that type of thing only happens in romantic comedies or chick flicks, but I can assure you it goes down in real life. (And somewhere there is a video of me and my friend Debbie busting out a choreographed routine to “Do the Kid ‘N Play Kick Step” to prove it. Note: I will pay handsomely to keep this footage from seeing the light of day.) During the “Push It” scene I thought, “Yes, I guess there’s a chance these two might have been inseparable back in the day and were just never able to let go of each other despite their relationship devolving into something really unhealthy and dysfunctional.” Maybe Ginnifer should have suggested the characters take a page from her HBO series Big Love and BOTH marry Dex.
Unfortunately, even though I enjoyed Something Borrowed overall, director Luke (The Girl Next Door) Greenfield’s take on Emily Giffin’s story did not make me want to read the book. But as with any adaptation, I’m still very interested in what fans of the novel think of the movie version. Let me hear it!