‘Something Borrowed’ should have borrowed better characters

Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin in 'Something Borrowed'
Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin in ‘Something Borrowed’

Something Borrowed, adapted from the Emily Giffen novel, is hardly something new.

The romantic comedy features Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin as best friends Darcy and Rachel. The “something borrowed” in the title refers to the affair that ignites between Rachel and Darcy’s fiancé Dex, who Rachel met in law school (a fact repeatedly mentioned throughout the movie).

The movie has its cute moments, including a subplot involving a character pretending to be gay to avoid the advances of Darcy and Rachel’s man-hungry friend Claire, but neither Darcy as played by Hudson or Rachel as portrayed by Goodwin have any redeeming value.

Darcy is a vapid, shallow party girl who is not the brightest bulb in the box. Rachel, the somewhat more likeable of the pair, wallows in inaction during most of the movie, much like a female Hamlet with longing stares. It’s hard to imagine how they became friends in the first place. Both have a rather dysfunctional relationship with each other: Darcy overshadows and overpowers Rachel and calls all the shots, while Rachel just lets her.

While Hudson and Goodwin are little more than caricatures, Colin Egglesfield turns in a rather wooden performance as Dex. He and Goodwin just didn’t have as much chemistry as I would have expected from an illicit affair, making one wonder how he would inspire such passion in the two best friends.

The affair itself somehow seems too easily accomplished: no lipstick on the collar or telltale receipts. And while Darcy hovers cluelessly around the possibility that Dex is cheating on her, she never quite sees the writing on the wall until the end. Rachel, for her part, in my opinion, doesn’t have many qualms about how her affair with Dex might affect her friendship with Darcy.

Something Borrowed is a light romantic romp, with corny dialogue (in one moment Kate Hudson proclaims, “Call me, Mr. Magoo”), spiced with snarky one-liners (“The Hamptons are a zombie movie created by Ralph Lauren.”) throughout the movie, providing giggles for the girls in the audience. There are also some sweet encounters including the original meeting of Dex and Rachel in a law school classroom, which goes some way to redeeming the film.

As in most rom-coms, there is a happy ending, though perhaps dubious in this case, as my friend who saw the movie with me noted that it “wasn’t true to real life.” Though most rom-coms aren’t, in this case you almost wish Rachel had set her sights on one of the other many men in her life besides Dex who declare their love for her throughout the movie.

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