Reviewed by GREG KING
Director: Luke Greenfield
Stars: Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin, John Krasinski, Ashley Williams, Colin Egglesfield.
Something Borrowed is certainly an appropriate title for this bland and formulaic romantic comedy, which borrows heavily from the cliches and general plot elements of a number of films from this over crowded genre. Something Borrowed has been scripted by Jennie Snyder, and based on the best selling novel by Emily Griffin, and most notably the plot resembles My Best Friend’s Wedding, which starred Julie Roberts and Cameron Diaz.
Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Darcy (Kate Hudson) have been best friends forever. However, the pair have completely different personalities. Darcy is the more outgoing of the pair, and whatever she wants she usually gets. Rachel is more shy and withdrawn, and passively accepting of events. During her studies at law school, Rachel meets the handsome Dex (the hunky Colin Egglesfield), but despite their close friendship she is unable to communicate her true feelings. Then Darcy manages to snare him away from Rachel.
Six years later Darcy throws a surprise 30th birthday party for Rachel. During the party Darcy announces her engagement to Dex. After the party, Rachel reconnects with a drunken Dex, and their night of passion sets in motion a complicated chain of events which forces Rachel to finally acknowledge her true feelings for him. The nature of their friendship is put to the test during a weekend spent in the Hamptons. But is it too late to prevent the wedding, and for Rachel to admit her true feelings?
Unfortunately the film takes its time about resolving this dilemma. And most of the characters are rather unlikeable, which is unusual for this genre, but it gives the material a darker edge than usual. The director is Luke Greenfield (The Animal, The Girl Next Door), whose direction is occasionally sluggish. He emphasises the more schmaltzy, soap opera-like elements of the material, and some scenes fall flat. One needs to believe in the relationship between the two leads for the film to work, but unfortunately I didn’t believe that the studious, reticent and serious Rachel could be best friends forever with the more outgoing, extroverted and irresponsible Darcy. And the relationship between Darcy and Dex is even less likely.
Hudson is a veteran of romantic comedies and normally has a bubbly and adorable presence, but here she is cast against type as the obnoxious and self-centred Darcy. Nonetheless, she sinks herself into her role with relish, and delivers one of her least mannered performances. Goodwin (from He’s Just Not That Into You, etc) has carved out a niche for herself playing the perennially single girl looking for Mr Right, and she brings a naivete to her role that seems right.
The best character in the film is Ethan (played by The Office’s John Krasinski in a scene stealing performance), Rachel’s best friend, who speaks the harsh truth, and his way with some acerbic dialogue offers some enjoyable moments. An amusing subplot has Ethan pretending to be gay to stave off the advances of the predatory Claire (Ashley Williams). As played by Egglesfield, Dex is something of a milquetoast and his character is a little too bland and one-dimensional.
While fans of romantic comedies may find much to enjoy here, the film’s overly generous running time will test the patience of many.