Directed by Luke Greenfield, Written by Jennie Snyder and Emily Giffin, 103 minutes, Rated PG-13.
By our guest blogger, Matthew Schimkowitz
“Something Borrowed” is a screwball comedy in which nobody gets anything done. Lacking much story or character development, the film relies on a singular idea—deciding whether to hurt a friend for the sake of true happiness. It's a premise that runs out of steam halfway through. The film repeats its point over and over, but because the characters remain so static and the two lovers find romance in the first scene, it never hits the emotional or comedic beats it expects, removing any chance for anything other than a predictable finale.
Just as the characters in “Something Borrowed” refuse to come to terms with the people they want to be, the film itself cannot construct the story or ending it wants. Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin), our selfless main character, sleeps with her longtime crush and childhood best friend’s fiancée, Dex (Colin Egglesfield), and must tell her friend or let go of the one she loves. Yet, unlike a film where the romance between Rachel and Dex is the main crux, “Something Borrowed” strips us of that in the first scene. We know they’re in love, now we wait and see if they will tell a clueless Kate Hudson the truth.
Darcy steals Rachel’s story by being a hapless, attention seeking, party girl who has great friends though does not deserve them. As such, to the audience, Rachel’s decision becomes an easy one: Be with Dex, because Darcy is terrible. Director Luke Greenfield and Hudson (who has some sort of chemical addiction to these types of films) do such a fantastic job of creating an unworthy friend, that the very idea of choosing anything else is a no brainer.
This doesn’t stop anyone from stretching things out an extra 20-minutes. The film drags and drags, until, finally, Ethan (John Krasinski), Rachel’s other childhood friend, yells at her to make a decision. Clearly, he’s expressing the concerns and frustrations of the audience, whom at this point will be so bored by the film’s redundant story that any change, good or bad, will be welcomed. Though, neither Rachel nor Dex, who has some ridiculous obligation to his parents to marry this Darcy, make it easy.
Things get off to a quick start, with Dex and Rachel getting together in the first scene, and with only this one decision to make, the film doesn’t offer enough variety to make it worth of the $11. The very nature of the screwball comedy rests that something unexpected happens to its characters. “Something Borrowed” removes the promise of this before the main title hits the screen.