I can’t believe Something Borrowed is based on a book. I can take this sort of thing from a Hollywood screenwriter, but an author actually wrote a story that’s so completely derivative of Hollywood rom-coms?
Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwyn) is totally repulsive because she wears suits and has a job. How could any man settle for such a loser? Her friend Darcy (Kate Hudson), on the other hand, is a real catch. She makes wrinkled nose faces all night while she parties, dances and goes “Woo!” That’s a keeper.
Darcy’s engaged to Dex (Colin Egglesfield), Rachel’s old law school buddy. Dex and Rachel hook up, so someone gets hurt either way. Either Rachel loses the man of her dreams, or she gets him and loses her best friend. Dex is actually totally cool. He sees through bar chicks and clearly valued Rachel even when he was a nervous schoolboy, so why is he even with a superficial showoff like Darcy? Well, we find out it’s because of his parents but those daddy issues are really for another movie.
Growing up and dealing with my own communication issues makes it even harder to tolerate characters ignoring or misinterpreting theirs. Dex is totally willing to talk and consider making a drastic decision, and Rachel just fills in her own idea of what she thinks Dex wants to hear. Dex makes a real effort to confirm he has something real with Rachel and should leave Darcy, but then he doesn’t follow through. They keep not talking about it until they end up making a game out of their secrets.
We’re basically watching a group of sociopaths here. Darcy forces Rachel into sexual situations with a man she doesn’t like, Marcus (Steve Howey), who in turn forces her to drink and do drugs (pot, but still peer pressure.) Claire (Ashley Williams) is stalking Rachel’s best friend Ethan (John Krasinski), although Ethan too won’t just come out and say, “I just don’t like you Claire. I’m sorry.”
The Hamptons partying was repulsively indulgent to me. Arthur was richer but Darcy’s gang feels more wasteful and selfish. At one point Darcy confronts Rachel and Dex… about them competing for her attention. It is bold of Hudson to play a totally unredeemable villain. To be fair, that’s the point it still manages to play out like a Kate Hudson movie.
So many scenes begin with characters laughing artificially at a story we didn’t get to hear. That way, screenwriter Jennie Snyder never has to write any actual friendship or bond. Or maybe author Emily Giffin didn’t provide any. Even when we meet Dex’s parents late in the movie, we cut to them finishing a story that apparently made all the characters laugh and relate to one another. Wish we were invited to that party.
I need a lot of goodwill to tolerate a dance/off or pajama lip sync scene (this movie has both), and Something Borrowed was already working at a deficit. I understand getting trapped in vicious cycles with “friends” like Darcy. Again that makes it harder to watch when you know Rachel should just say no and get out.