POSTED ON MAY 11, 2011:
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Something Borrowed is a rom-com worth giving back
Something Borrowed is three months too late. This is the kind of romantic comedy that typically deluges theatres a few weeks before Valentine's Day to give every male the opportunity to prove their love by enduring nearly two hours of torture. Let's take gender out of the equation.
Whether you are male or female, Something Borrowed is the sort of pedestrian, formulaic, humorless, irritating and lacking genuine romance movie that Hollywood churns out with wild abandon these days.
If it's one thing Hollywood does well, it's make below average romantic comedies. The frequency of their appearance in the multiplex is disheartening. The brutal truth is that in 2011, the romantic comedy is on life support and should be given a few years in purgatory to recharge. That won't happen anytime soon, as these films are cheap, profitable and fill the seats. Hollywood will keep churning out movies with stale scripts, uninspired casting and predictable twists that are known before the opening credits are over.
As long as audiences pay for such mediocrity as Something Borrowed, the formula won't be changed. Should I really blame the studios when it is gullible people who fork over money to plop down on a Friday night and witness disasters like Something Borrowed?
I'm sure you're familiar with the plot of Something Borrowed. A successful lawyer named Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) is turning 30 and is in an emotional state over it. She's unsatisfied at work and her love life is non-existent, as she is harboring a blazing secret crush on her law school study partner Dexter (Colin Egglesfield). The hitch is Dexter is going to wed Rachel's best friend Darcy (Kate Hudson) in two months. Uh oh, right? Right.
Rachel can only keep her feelings under wraps for so long before another good friend, Ethan (John Krasinski) figures out what is happening. Unfortunately for him, he now has to hear Rachel moaning about Dexter so tirelessly he flees the country to get away from her stunted emotional longings. Of all the characters in the film, Ethan is the only one who is likable and worth spending time with. Darcy is attention-starved and superficial, Rachel is a sniveling coward and Dexter is nothing more than the "hot-guy" to be desired.
Early on in the movie Rachel and Dexter have a bit of drunken sex and wake up naked in bed together. The storm of deceit and betrayal increases for Rachel until she's in a perpetual state of either panic of being discovered or guilt for willingly stabbing her bestie in the back by bedding her betrothed. Darcy is obnoxious and shallow, but no best friend deserves to have their future husband sexed up on the roof of a building surrounded by candles below the night stars. That's just wrong, no matter how unlikable the bride-to-be is.
A strange, and sort of salacious, aspect to Something Borrowed is just how far the creators (who shall go nameless!) of this dreck go to make Rachel/Dexter's dalliance(s) justified. At every turn Darcy's positive attributes are given the short shrift, instead focusing on all the annoying qualities she has. Something Borrowed is a completely disingenuous movie. From its treatment of characters in an attempt to manipulate the feelings of the audience, to even the fact that Rachel has a landline with an answering machine that is used multiple times to move the plot forward. Come on. What 30 year old in New York City has a landline phone and answering machine they still use?
The cast does not rise up to the challenge in making the sub-par material on display better. Only John Krasinski provides the slightest hint of entertainment, but even his performance is a retread of his "Jim Halpert" character from The Office. The only difference from him in Something Borrowed is he doesn't mug or double take to the camera. Goodwin plays the same character she always is -- a whiny, low self-esteem, quick to cry woman pining for the attentions of someone deemed better than her. I've seen enough of that from Goodwin. Hudson is phoning it in too as the drastically different than Rachel -- a loud, over-the-top, botox- loving free spirit. Something Borrowed is dumb, not funny, manipulative, not romantic, cheesy, predictable and kind of irritating. Even though we're months from Valentine's Day, Something Borrowed is the same old, same old from Hollywood.
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