Monday, May 23, 2011

Movie Review: Infidelity is Okay as Long as Everybody’s Doing It

Something Borrowed movie poster.  Image property of Warner Brothers.
Something Borrowed AWFUL

Ginnifer Goodwin stars as Rachel, a sweet lawyer without a backbone.  I’m not really sure how she survives in her job since she has a habit of letting people walk all over her.  Like her best friend Darcy (Kate Hudson).  You see, Rachel was friends with this guy named Dex (Colin Egglesfield) all throughout law school.  She harbored this secret crush on him but never had the guts to do anything about it.  Then along comes Darcy, who is not only flirtatious but highly assertive.  She sees that Rachel isn’t pursuing Dex so she puts the moves on him.  Rachel, of course, doesn’t say anything.  She just lets Darcy date the guy she likes.  Years go by and now Darcy and Dex are to be married!

Have you ever found out years later that someone you once had a crush on happened to have a crush on you too?  At the same time?  Well, that’s the case with poor Rachel.  With Dex and Darcy’s wedding quickly approaching, Dex decides to reveal that he used to have a huge crush on Rachel in law school.  What?  Are you serious?  Rachel reveals that she had a crush on him too!  OMG!  How did neither one of them pick up on that?  They only did everything together, laughing and flirting with sexual tension all around…  but who picks up on subtleties these days?

So what do Rachel and Dex do about this?  They kiss.  They do a little more than kiss.  And now we are caught up in a crazy love triangle of lust, betrayal, and secrets.  Although I don’t normally have a problem with infidelity portrayed in movies, for some reason this one bugged the crap out of me.  I think that the filmmakers didn’t handle the subject matter with the seriousness that they should have, and instead tried to make it all seem justifiable.  I don't know if we should blame Emily Giffin who wrote the novel or Jennie Snyder who wrote the screenplay, but the story lacks as much backbone as Rachel does.  Her character was always seen as “good” even when she was doing bad things.  Then towards the end—sorry if this ruins the movie for you—it is discovered that Darcy has cheated on Dex a few times, with a mutual friend named Marcus (Steve Howey).  Here we were all expected to breathe a sigh of relief and say, “It’s okay guys.  Darcy’s cheating too, so it’s okay that Dex was.  Nothing to worry about, folks.  They were both doing it.  Rachel is still a good person because Darcy didn’t really deserve Dex anyway.”

I really wish the movie had the balls to say this instead: “Look.  Rachel really did a horrible thing to her friend Darcy.  She really did.  Dex wasn’t in the right either.  Things between Rachel and Darcy will probably never be the same.  Maybe Rachel will be happy because she has found out that Dex has always loved her, and now the two can be together, but it doesn’t change the ugly truth that she was lying to her friend, betraying her trust, and sleeping with an engaged man.”

All that aside, I feel like Goodwin proved to be a likable enough leading lady.  Hudson, unfortunately, was more annoying than anything in her role and Egglesfield was more eye candy than substance.  John Krasinski, who played Rachel’s friend Ethan, was a bright spot for me although he felt a bit underused in this movie.  He can do so much more, I feel, than play the ignored best friend.  And one last thing, for a movie being advertised as a romantic comedy, Something Borrowed is oddly lacking in laughs.  I honestly don’t think I laughed once.  And with the drama of it being superficial at best, I didn’t cry either.  I didn’t laugh, I didn’t cry, I didn’t really feel anything.

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