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Something Borrowed: Unexpected

Director: Luke Greenfield
Screenplay: Jennie Snyder
Release Date: May 6, more about 2011
Actors: Ginnifer Goodwin, therapist Kate Hudson, Colin Egglesfield, Jonathan Krasinski, Ashley Williams, Steve Howey
Based on the book of the same name by Emily Giffin

“Something Borrowed” is written by Emily Giffin, the first book in the “Something” series that focuses on best friends Darcy and Rachel, who have been best friends from when they were kids. The film is an adaptation of this book, which follows Rachel and Darcy around. I have not read this book, so I can only write what I see in this film, and not how it differs or not from the original.

I was lucky enough to see a test screening of this movie almost five or six months before its release, so when I had a chance to go again to an advanced screening of the film, my friends and me decided to go again and see what changed. Needless to say, we prefer the original, though the main story of the film was the same.

Rachel, played by the talented and adorable Ginnifer Goodwin, is a mousy, brunette who works for a law firm. She is about to turn 30, and her best friend Darcy (Kate Hudson) throws her a huge party at a restaurant of which the attention ends up mostly on… Darcy. Darcy and Rachel are almost complete opposites. Darcy is loud, obnoxious, and always commands everyone to pay attention to her. Rachel typically sits out on the side lines and looks in, usually quiet and demure in Darcy’s presence. At the party, it is no different. Darcy ends up getting a bit tipsy and ends up leaving early. Her fiancee Dex (Colin Egglesfield) comes back to the restaurant to look for Darcy’s Chanel, and the two end up spending some time hanging out over drinks. Both of them were great friends since their days in law school, and Dex finds out Rachel had a huge crush on him back then. We’re shown these flashbacks (terrible transitions mind you) of how they first met and the immediate chemistry the two had. Rachel, being a pushover, allows Darcy to swoop in who dares Dex to ask Darcy out on a date after Rachel says she and Dex are just friends. Back to the present. Dex, discovering Rachel had a huge crush on him, ends up kissing Rachel and the two of them end up sleeping with one another. Rachel relies on Ethan (Jonathan Krasinski) as her confidant and her advisor as she and Dex continue to stay in inappropriate contact (and conduct).

When I saw this many months ago, everyone I went with to see “Something Borrowed” was pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed the film. It was funny, witty, well acted, and not typical of the normal storyline. It was strange, for me, to root for the cheater. Kate Hudson as Darcy does such a great job at being a horrible airhead of a person, but at the same time, she manages to make you feel sorry for her given how oblivious she seems of the people around her and of Rachel’s feelings. Ginnifer Goodwin was extremely likeable, despite the fact that she was cheating on her best friend with her fiancee because though (at least from what I’ve heard) she isn’t the sweetest person in the book, they make her out to be a completely relate-able and likeable character in the film. In fact, I hear everyone in the book are just basically horrible people. But in the film, she acts out when Darcy doesn’t treat her well, and you can’t help but root for her to win. The most honorable person in the movie is Ethan, who just wants what’s best for Rachel. Ethan has the best lines in the movie, especially when trying to dodge Claire (Ashley Williams) and being sarcastic in almost every scene in which he guides Rachel. One can’t help but root for him to win some. Marcus (Steve Howey) who plays Darcy’s friend is the over-the-top token character who Darcy tries to hook up Rachel with, and who provides the most amount of comedy relief in the movie. Claire also provides some moments of hilarity when trying to go after Ethan.

In comparison to the original, the finished version that I saw was a lesser version. The transitions into the flashbacks were horrible and not all that natural. The flashbacks also weren’t all in the first twenty minutes of the film, which gave a rather choppy feeling in the film. A few of my friends commented that they thought that the version that we first saw was more funny, so I suspect a few scenes that included Marcus were probably shaved off since it was obvious a few scenes were added, and the ending was slightly different than the version we had seen. Some of the music used at the party was different, and was not really pleasant to the ear that it actually took me out of the film more than once (in addition to the irritating flashback transitions).


The ending of the original left me a bit more cold, in a good way. The way the film ends is not what one might expect a Hollywood film to end, but I commend that they stuck with it (I would assume, for the sequel “Something Blue” which focuses on Darcy and Ethan). The acting all around was terrific, and though I had never really paid attention to Ginnifer Goodwin, I certainly will in the future. Colin Egglesfield also reminded me of a young Tom Cruise, the mannerisms, and even line deliverance being quite similar. Kate Hudson being the bitch was wonderful to watch to a T. I hated Darcy, and it wasn’t until the end that I really felt for her character. I’ve never really thought her to be a terrific actress, but the last couple scenes we see her in “Something Borrowed” really left quite an impression on me. Each of them held their own, and it is together that one can truly be blown away by their chemistry onscreen.

Beautifully filmed, with bright, spring colors, the characters leap off of the screen. You could feel the history between these characters, even though we only know them for a short while, and that is hard to do. One moment where there was dancing between Darcy and Rachel was particularly endearing, which helped me an idea of how close they were, despite knowing what Rachel was doing to Darcy behind her back. For the most part, I would say as a follow up to “The Girl Next Door”, Luke Greenfield’s third feature film is certainly a step up. (Let’s not mention his third film, “The Animal”).

“Something Borrowed” isn’t a film for everyone, as it’s mostly a romantic comedy. The beginning was badly edited, and the pacing was slightly too long. It’s hard to watch a romantic comedy where the primary story involves cheating and on your best friend’s fiancee too. However, I think they succeeded in making Rachel likeable enough for viewers to take something good away from the film, and the laughter that Ethan, Marcus and Claire provide offset the seriousness of the story. One could walk away from the movie and only remember one important lesson from the film and it could make their life better. What is it? Simply, ask for what you want. Speak up. If you never ask, how will you know? If you don’t ask, you’ll never really be true to yourself if you don’t speak up and stand in the corner. It is that quiet desperation and the willingness to hide in the corner that finds Rachel in an affair. It isn’t Darcy or anyone else that took anything away from her. It was because of herself. The stars align properly in “Something Borrowed”, and all is exactly how it should be in the end. It could have went one way, in which everyone was miserable, or that everyone was happy, but the ending was truly perfect and I walked away thinking that what happened was the best ending for the film. Critics will pan “Something Borrowed”, but I think girls like me might be able to enjoy it, despite being mostly formulaic and its one dimensional lead character (Darcy).

A bit long at places, but I do recommend this to people who enjoy romantic comedies. A few good laughs, some great eye candy and great acting. 3 Chipmunks / 5 Chipmunks

Links:
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