Friendships are tested and secrets come to the surface when terminally single Rachel falls for Dex, her best friend Darcy’s fiancé.
SOMETHING BORROWED is the film adaptation of Emily Giffin’s 2004 chick lit novel of the same title. Rachel (Goodwin) is a lawyer who has been in love with Dex (Egglesfield) since law school. She is a classic “good girl” which is how her best friend Darcy (Hudson) managed to swoop in and date Dex even though he and Rachel were study partners for a year. When it finally becomes clear to Rachel that her feelings for Dex are mutual, she has to decide between going after what she wants and maintaining her friendship with Darcy.
Not being in the chick lit demographic, I was unaware of the popularity of Something Borrowed and its sequel novel Something Blue. So before I saw the trailer for this and judging on snippets on the Internet, I thought the movie was going to be yet another Kate Hudson rom-com with Matthew McConaughey swapped out for Colin Egglesfield.
Hudson’s Darcy is a welcome change of pace for her. Despite her role in THE KILLER INSIDE OF ME, she has become associated with movies like FOOL’S GOLD, BRIDE WARS and HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS. Although SOMETHING BORROWED is definitely in rom-com territory, this is a much smarter take on the genre than many.
Darcy is a self-entitled, self-involved alpha female who always gets what she wants. She is also loyal to her friend Rachel and has a deep connection with her going back to their childhood. Unfortunately for Rachel it seems now, when they are both hitting 30, Darcy is about to embark upon a successful life with Dex and Rachel feels as though she has nothing and no one.
The strength of this movie is in the way it handles the Rachel/Darcy relationship. In a sense, this has a degree more importance than the Rachel/Dex relationship. Dex, the prince of this plot, doesn’t have or indeed need, the character development of the Darcy and Rachel characters.
The part of Dex is ably portrayed by Colin Egglesfield. He is a former soap actor who worked on ALL MY CHILDREN and the MELROSE PLACE reboot. Before becoming an actor he was a successful model. Dex is absurdly handsome, witty, successful and an all round wonderful guy. However, he is also not a man with a strong agenda, which is how he gets romantically entangled with Rachel six weeks before his wedding to Darcy. Why his character is so pliable is touched on, but not convincingly dealt with.
Rachel is nice, supportive, reliable and a great friend. Goodwin manages not to be over shadowed by Hudson, even though she has the less attention-getting part. Rachel is the heart of the movie. Goodwin has been in a number of features, however she is best known for her excellent work as Margene the youngest of the three wives in the series BIG LOVE.
Along with the expected trysts, betrayals and dalliances, there are also some good observations about what makes friendships tick, moving from one’s twenties to the thirties and what it means to be a functioning adult. Writer Jennie Snyder does a good job keeping the various plot strands moving and she has provided the cast with some slick comedic dialogue.
Director Luke Greenfield whose previous features were the terrible Rob Schneider vehicle THE ANIMAL and the forgettable teen comedy THE GIRL NEXT DOOR has done solid work in SOMETHING BORROWED. John Krasinski of THE OFFICE is very good as Rachel’s other best friend Ethan. And Steve Howey makes a strong impression as Marcus.
SOMETHING BORROWED is an entertaining romantic comedy that has more meat on its bones than most in this category. It runs for 110 minutes and is screening now in Australia. I rated it 3/5