Warning: This review contains spoilers, but you shouldn’t care, because you shouldn’t see this film.
Much to our misfortune, and in a feeble pipe-dream attempt at hope that the commercials lie, and we might have a decent romantic comedy in our midst, we decided to see Something Borrowed the day it came out. I don’t know why I hoped it would be good; it features the harbinger of horrible movies, Kate Hudson. It is based on popular chick-lit (my most despised genre). There have been no truly swoon-worthy romantic comedies that have depth, humor, heart, warmth, and actual HUMANITY to them since 2009‘s (!) 500 Days of Summer (which didn’t even make the cut for my favorite rom-coms), so we thought we’d give it a try. Sucks for us.
The story revolves around an insipid love triangle: Dex (Colin Egglesfield) – the young Tom Cruise look-alike and nice, vanilla, lawyer; his fiance, Darcy (Hudson), who is a vile succubus from the underworld, and Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) – another nice, vanilla, lawyer, who is obviously in love with Dex, and inexplicably best friends with Darcy. Dex is actually in love with Rachel as well, and has been for years, but they never talked about or acted on any of their feelings, due to a slight, and completely asinine miscommunication, and once Darcy steps in (because she’s evil and perfect and steals everything), none of these people ever look back. Why Dex or Rachel would even get near the demon-known-as-Darcy with a ten-foot pole is beyond me, and even though the film tries to show flashbacks and pictures of them as childhood friends to explain this oversight, I can’t buy it.
Towards the beginning, Rachel is getting drunk after her 30th birthday party and says, “My best child-bearing years are over, I wasted my 20s, and I hate my job.” And I felt a sliver of hope. Yes! I can relate to this! That, after all is one vital ingredient in any successful romantic comedy: Relating to the main character in SOME WAY. There must be a way in or you will never, ever root for them. And therein lies the problem with this shit-fest: By the end, these characters were so vile, so foolish, so useless . . . you couldn’t root for them to win, find love, even take another breath.
Dex and Rachel soon begin sleeping together behind Darcy’s shapely back and unless you’re completely against monogamy, their tryst just feels yucky, even though they are obviously perfect for each other. Everyone is soooo wishy-washy about what to do with all of their feelings, and when Rachel finally asserts herself (to an emotional rain scene where “Fake Plastic Trees” (!) plays . . . sound amazing? Don’t worry – it’s not) and asks Dex to choose her, he “can’t.” Dex ends up becoming such a pathetic pussy, that just saying his stupid name, “Dex”, felt disgusting, like yeast was growing on my tongue.
The one bright spot is John Krasinski as Ethan, Rachel’s other childhood best friend. He’s mostly just a little mouthier version of Jim Halpert, wearing hipper clothes. I honestly want to know what was going through his head as he read this script. Did he think it was good??? Does he REALLY need the money?! Isn’t he on The Office and married to Emily Blunt? Sigh. At a certain point in the film, you find out that, Surprise!, Ethan has been in love with Rachel for years. Look, I have no idea if this is what happens in the book, but there was no evidence in the film up to this point to even remotely hint that Ethan was interested in her. I felt like it was the absolute laziest thing the filmmakers could add to the plot-line; it was such an afterthought. “We’ll have Ethan be in love with Rachel for some extra sympathy from the audience!” The girls behind me in the theater sure would agree with that statement, they “AWWWWW!”-ed so loud when the reveal happens, it actually startled me. The WORST thing is this: Lots of people actually LOVE movies like this. Case in point: A random human in my department at work mentioned that she saw it and said, “Aww it was so cute!”
*Holds back desire to start stabbing things*