Saturday, May 14, 2011

At the Movies: Something Borrowed

Each spring, movie theaters are flooded with flicks about weddings. Something Borrowed, a story of unrequited love and back-stabbing best buds, is text book. Like Water for Elephants, it's based on a novel of the same title (which, also like Water for Elephants, I didn't read). But before I even begin to talk about the plot I feel the need to say this: It was icky.

I've never been a fan of the home wrecker romance. Most of us have shoulda woulda coulda moments, but trying to rewrite them doesn't make destroying other people's lives okay. And Something Borrowed is about just that. The main character is Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin), a lawyer and your typical buttoned-up, hard-working good girl. Her best friend, Darcy (Kate Hudson [can't help but think of Pride and Prejudice's Mr. Darcy every time I hear that name]), is your typical self-absorbed, manipulative party girl. Darcy is engaged to Rachel's law school friend, Dex (Colin Egglesfield), aka Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome but Jerky. The problem? Rachel's always had a crush on Dex and still does.

You see where this is going, right?

Yes, Darcy is awful. Shallow and over-the-top, she's the embodiment of every high school mean girl all grown up. But I couldn't help but feel that she's painted that way so viewers don't feel guilty about rooting for Rachel. As for Dex, he masquerades as a sensitive guy who's just doing what his parents want. But he's really a coward who wants to have his cake and eat it too. Although put-upon, Rachel is only marginally sympathetic as the other woman. Not only does she poach her best friend's fiance, but she allows herself to be treated badly, fulfilling the tired old mistress cliche.

From this mess, only Rachel and Darcy's childhood friend Ethan (the ever-affable John Krasinski) emerges as likable and funny, offering up witty observations from the sidelines during the crew's seemingly endless Hamptons weekends. Sure, he spends most of the movie dodging a woman he slept with and then dumped. But next to Dex and their mutual sleazy slacker friend Marcus, he still manages to channel the nice guy vibe of his "Office" character, Jim. (Who says there's no such thing as type casting?)

At one point, I thought the plot was going to wrap up in a predictable but still feel-good-sort-of-way that would have saved things. (Good little blogger that I am, I won't spill any more, should you decide to see the movie despite this uncharitable review.) But it didn't. It ended in a crescendo of insultingly cheesy soap opera incidents and a finale that could be described as only - you guessed it - icky.

If I have such an aversion to cheating hearts, then why did I see this movie? Because it's a romantic comedy, and I feel compelled to see all romantic comedies, no matter how seemingly stupid.

Next stop, Bridesmaids. I know the fuchsia taffeta won't disappoint.


Michelle said...

Thanks for this review! I have the same exact feelings about this movie. UGH, I want to see it, but that whole storyline is not my cup of tea AT ALL.

I am DYING to see Bridesmaids! Looks like a good laugh! haha!

The Tote Trove said...

No problem! I suspect lots of women feel the same; after being open only a week it was screened in one of those tiny on-its-way-out theaters when I saw it.