Movie Review: Something Borrowed (2011)

Darcy (Kate Hudson) and Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) have been best friends forever.  While Darcy is vivacious and a little vain, Rachel is quiet and reserved.  On the eve of her 30th birthday, at a party that Darcy throws for her, Rachel ends up sleeping with Darcy’s fiancee Dex (Colin Egglesfield).  The two embark on an ill-advised affair, feeling guilty but also exhilarated.

Directed by Luke Greenfield (The Girl Next Door) with a script adapted by Jennie Snyder Urman from Emily Giffin’s bestselling eponymous novel, this movie attempts to answer hard-hitting questions like: Is it ever okay to sleep with your best friend’s fiancee?  And: Are there really people this boring in real life?  The answer to both?  I hope not.  An interminably long movie that plods along with some of the blandest characters I’ve ever seen means that Something Borrowed is a total and complete mess, Gentle Readers, and not even in an entertaining, train-wreck sort of way.

The problem starts with the fact that the characters are so completely uninteresting.  Goodwin, whom I genuinely really like, brings nothing to the table as the meek little doormat.  At one point, viewers glimpse a towering bookshelf of books in her apartment, which is supposed to tell us that she’s smart, but one never gets the sense that she actually reads (or that she does anything except moon over Dexter).  Egglesfield is so wooden it’s like watching a cardboard cutout.  It doesn’t help that the character of Dex goes from being fairly innocuous to a totally weak whiny diaper baby.  While Hudson brings a sort of brassy glee to the character of Darcy, she’s also supposed to be so unlikable that it’s hard to care (we have to root for the other couple, remember?).  The only exception is John Krasinski in the role of best-guy-friend Ethan.  Krasinski oozes charm and provides literally the only humorous moments in the movie.  He is largely wasted in the film, and virtually disappears from the second half (which is a mistake).

It’s not just the characters that fall flat in this adaptation, though.  Much of the movie’s story comes from the past, and so there are large chunks of time spent in awkward flashbacks.  This slows down an already long movie (clocking in at 103 minutes, you’ll swear it’s over two hours), drawing out the story until just short of forever.  The story is also quite predictable: the only surprise is how long it takes to get to the (mildly depressing) conclusion.

As a fan of romantic comedies (and a self-professed connoisseur), I beg you: skip this one.  You’ll thank me later.

Something Borrowed will be released on DVD on August 16, 2011.

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