Something Borrowed

Something Borrowed

Something Borrowed
Rating:

Directed by Luke Greenfield. Starring Ginnifer Goodwin, Kate Hudson, Colin Egglesfield, John Krasinski, Steve Howey, Ashley Williams, Geoff Pierson, Jill Eikenberry, Jonathan Epstein, Leia Thompson, Sarah Baldwin, Mark La Mura. Written by Jennie Snyder, from the novel by Emily Giffin.



Also opening this week:

Something Borrowed borrows more than something from the average cut-rate romantic comedy, delivered weekly these days in familiar portions along with familiar faces. I thought Kate Hudson might be working towards something after her surprisingly effective turns in Nine and The Killer Inside Me (she´s even rumored, IMDb tells me, for the lead in Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman´s Lovelace), but nah, here she is just as we remember, as shrill and annoying as ever.

Hudson – or rather, her characterization by screenwriter Jennie Snyder, working from the novel by Emily Giffin (what? These things are based on novels these days?) – is the main problem with Something Borrowed, playing Darcy, the kind of ditzy airhead blonde that she has become known for. Darcy is about to marry fiancé Dex (Colin Egglesfield), who we know is more thoughtful because of his long, meaningful stares.

Faring much better is Ginnifer Goodwin, who plays Rachel, the actual lead role in the film. Rachel has had a crush on Dex since they were friends in law school. Dex feels the same way about Rachel, and when they mutually discover their feelings for each other it should be a beautiful thing. But no – they can´t hurt Darcy! Darcy, who freely admits to sleeping around, who is a terrible person and terrible friend and who will soon be a terrible wife. We can´t bear to see her get hurt.

Well, we all know how Something Borrowed is going to turn out (right?), but apparently the characters don´t, so the movie is played out anyway for their benefit. Along for the ride are the usual comic relief best friend characters, here played by John Krasinski (The Office) and Steve Howey (Stan Helsing).

As it closes in on two hours in length, the film really starts to wear out its welcome. It could end – easily and effectively – around the hour-and-a-half mark, but instead chooses to have the characters waffle and delay the inevitable conclusion for another twenty minutes.

Bright spot: the performances of Krasinski and Howey, who take control of screen whenever they´re around. That´s not often enough, unfortunately, with both relegated to perfunctory friend roles that have little relevance until the end of the film. Ultimately, both serve to illustrate just how bland Egglesfield is as the male lead.

Something Borrowed also commits cinematic sacrilege early on, with a scene that spoils the once-shocking finale of Fatal Attraction. Here´s a flighty rom-com that casually throws in the violent conclusion of a near-classic (seen, in full explicitness, on a TV) for an ineffective gag, spoiling that film for anyone who hasn´t seen it.

Sit-com-level entertainment, neither romantic nor funny, with nothing to distinguish it from all the other romantic comedies out there, Something Borrowed is destined to please the target audience that keeps paying for these things while the rest of us squirm in our seats and pray to be delivered from this formula junk. But hey, I´ve seen worse. Far worse.

***

Also opening: Banksy’s Exit Through the Gift Shop (showtimes), one of the best documentaries of 2010. I caught it last year on UK DVD and reviewed it here.


Jason Pirodsky

Hailing from Syracuse, New York, Jason Pirodsky made his way to Prague via Miami and has stuck around, for better and worse, since 2004. A member of the Online Film Critics Society (www.ofcs.org), some of his favorite movies include O Lucky Man!, El Topo, Berlin Alexanderplatz, and Hellzapoppin'. Follow him on Twitter for some (slightly) more concise reviews.

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