Something Borrowed (2011): The Long & Short of it

The Short Review: This movie sucked! A few good laughs, but no substance. That is all.

The Long Review: Something Borrowed is the story of how Rachel is pulled in two different directions when she falls in love with her best friend Darcy’s fiancé, Dex. I had heard bad things about this movie, but a) I love romantic comedies and b) it has the girl from He’s Just Not That Into You, who does awkward/embarrassing romantic comedy girl SO much better than Katherine Heigl. The story is based on a best selling book, which I heard was wonderful. Also, since it was Tuesday, it was $.75. I could have gone to see Limitless or The Lincoln Lawyer, but where’s the fun in that, right?

I wanted to like this movie. I really, really wanted to. I did like some parts of it. The supporting cast who played Ethan, Marcus, and Carla were hilarious. But in the end, the story just wasn’t right.

It was a stretch to believe that these two had been pining for each other for over six years–well, to believe that he’d been pining away for her. The romantic tension wasn’t there. Neither was anyone’s shame. It didn’t seem to bother Dex to go from sleeping with Rachel to sleeping with Darcy (in loud pornographic stereo). He seemed to be more concerned with what his father thought (and then only marginally so) than he was with Darcy’s feelings. The movie seemed to be saying that since Darcy was self-centered and attention seeking, it was alright to creep behind her back. They tried to make Darcy just as culpable as these two, who had a lot of time to decide whether or not to date before Darcy entered into it. By not having them seem torn about what they were doing, it was hard to make it believable there was anything standing in their way of being together.

Dex (played by a taller, blue eyed version of Tom Cruise in Top Gun) was robotic and stiff. Darcy (played by Kate Hudson) was played a little over the top. Somewhere, Hudson lost that loveable quality she had in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. I didn’t feel properly sorry for her. When I mentioned this movie, one of my coworkers likened the premise to My Best Friend’s Wedding. I immediately remembered how likeable Cameron Diaz was as the bride to be, how that made this whole thing all the worse. You couldn’t completely root for Julia’s character–she was wrecking a nice girl’s life. Then again, she’d loved him since childhood. Then again…All of that was missing here, when it should have been even more prevalent, as Rachel was the BRIDE’s best friend as well as friends with the groom.

Thanks to the supporting cast, I laughed a lot during this movie. But I didn’t feel the romance. I wasn’t sold on Rachel being with Dex, or Dex ending up with Darcy. The dilemma they tried to create for Dex wasn’t gripping. I’ve never seen or read The Notebook, but the tension in that love triangle thing glimpsed in just a short preview blows this out of the water.

I didn’t feel they did a good job of ending the movie either. There were too many loose ends, such as Dex’s situation with his family, and the friendship between Rachel & Darcy. This movie didn’t finish; it just ended.

Yet another weak offering in the romantic comedy genre. I’m still waiting for a return to the classic storytelling and well rounded characters the genre used to have.

Overall Rating: C- (points for great supporting characters)

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