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Cinema Review: Something Borrowed

May 31, 2011


To say that I did not go into Something Borrowed with an open mind is something of an understatement.  It came as a huge surprise to me therefore that not only was the film not completely horrendous, but that I actually enjoyed chunks of it.  I still can’t bring myself to give it a good mark though.  Why? Because it could have been so, so much better, and nothing in the film is worth the frustration you feel at the end.

The film centres around Rachel, played by Ginnifer Goodwin, who, in a fit of drunken self-pity at turning thirty, sleeps with her best friend’s fiancé Dex.  Not exactly a high-brow premise, but it is one that could have raised some interesting questions and dilemmas for the viewer: Rachel and Dex are in love, but where does this leave Darcy, the best friend (played by Kate Hudson)?  Is it right to screw over your best friend for the sake of true love?  Unfortunately, the filmmakers prefer not to examine this question too closely.  Instead, they choose to make Darcy near-detestable, a selfish, rude woman who you’re quite happy to root against.  The biggest question ends up being why Rachel and Dex have kept her in their lives for so long. 

Despite this though, there are moments of genuine, emotional drama scattered throughout the film.  Unfortunately they are usually spoiled by mistimed ‘jokes’, obviously designed to give Something Borrowed a lighter feel.  John Krasinski, playing a friend of Rachel’s, suffers the most; his is a charming, loveable performance and his character could have provided real pathos, but director Luke Greenfield seems afraid to delve to that level.  The performances on the whole are better than this film deserves; one can’t help but wonder whether the cast believed they were making the adult drama this could have been, instead of the by-the-numbers rom-com that was churned out.


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