Director: Luke Greenfield
Cast: Ginnifer Goodwin, Kate Hudson, John Krasinski, Colin Egglesfield
In My Own Words
Hi, my name is Nicki and I am a fan of chick lit. Cue the "Hi Nicki". It's a girl thing, I know I am not the only closet chick lit addict out there. Personally I will read anything which is thrown at me, I love reading. Chick lit is perhaps the easiest type of reading there is next to children’s books. You will always catch me reading a book of this genre after I have read a fairly dramatic book and I need some light reading. Some of the chick lit authors who I happen to be a fan of are Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella, Weisberger and the pairing of Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus. There are many, many more great chick lit authors out there who have made a name for themselves and provide a good break from our lives in the form of the written word, but these are just my personal favourites.
So why is it that it is not often that a chick lit book adapted into a film is actually a success and an acclaimed film? I can think of more chick lit books which are a good read and successful on the bookshelves that are flops when it comes to a screen version, than are, as we so often hear, as good as the book. I’m not saying that all chick lit novels adapted are ridiculous films because this is not true at all. Just look at “The Devil Wears Prada”. Great book as well as a great film which earned Meryl Streep an Academy Award nomination and catapulted Emily Blunt into stardom. Yet, films such as “Confessions Of A Shopaholic” and today’s reviewed film, “Something Borrowed” are just messy and all over the place. The book versions flow from start to finish and are a load of fun, but the films are the opposite. They are pretty to watch with lots of fun things such as shopping, New York City and weddings thrown in which make every girl happy, but these things aren’t enough to make a good film. You watch the films thinking “If I actually read this, it may have worked”. I can’t understand why so many film makers fail to make a good girls film out of a book. The better “girl films” come from actual screenplays rather than novels.
If I am a girl and talking this way about my dislike for the majority of films adapted from chick lit, I only hate to think what men think about them!
These are my own words and here is my review.
“Something Borrowed” has everything in it that makes a good girl’s film. It has romance, best girlfriends, the setting of New York City, parties, a wedding….sounds a lot like “Sex And The City” so far, doesn’t it? It has everything that makes a good girl’s film, only it isn’t a good film. It is messy and can be quite boring the way it shuffles along with no real direction or urgency. It is the pretty, girly themes and images which keep this film interesting over the slow 103 minutes, but of course it is only girls who will find this interesting. The majority of men who’s wife or girlfriend will drag them along to see this will be checking their watch every few minutes to count down till the moment they can run back to the world outside. “Something Borrowed” actually really could have been a lot more successful than what it has turned out to be, but director Luke Greenfield just made some really left field creative decisions which haven’t paid off.
Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Darcy (Kate Hudson) have been best friends for as long as they can remember. Rachel has always felt that she has always been in the shadow of centre of attention Darcy, especially now since Darcy is engaged to Rachel’s old law school buddy, Dexter (Colin Egglesfield). One night after her 30th, Rachel reveals to Dexter that she used to have a crush on him and one thing leads to another. As the wedding gets closer, Rachel and Dexter become closer without Darcy knowing. Rachel battles with her inner demons knowing that she is in love with an engaged man, and that she is in danger of hurting and losing the best friend she has ever had.
Possibly the worst creative decision for this film was the idea to have the film start in present day and then have flash backs to the college days of Rachel and Dexter. The diving into the conflicted situation in the present day doesn’t create any shock or any other emotion for that matter. No character development or any type of relationship between the movie and the audience has been established so how there is supposed to be any feeling associated with what they are seeing on screen? From there, going back and forwards just loses intensity of the situation of hand and leads to the unsteadiness and messiness of the film. Once Rachel and Dexter first kiss so close to the beginning of the film, it feels way too fast for the film. It is funny because it tends to drag in the middle of the film where it should be moving quicker and it moves too quick at the beginning of the film.
The best part about the film is the pretty images of New York City and the Hamptons. The themes are enough to keep the female audience interested and it does have some romantic, cute and fluffy moments. There are also some very funny lines and scenes throughout the film. Yet, these are just a set of moments which don’t really add to the story, they are all just there to make the film seem more attractive.
Ginnifer Goodwin is one of the only things which keeps the film bearable. This is Goodwin’s first lead role since her success playing Margene in “Big Love” and she proves herself by being extremely likable and sweet. After the diving in of her and Dexter’s first kiss, there is a great amount of character development for her Rachel. For the situation which she is in, the audience backs her in a situation in which people would rather back the man’s fiance. Kate Hudson is, on the other hand, not likable at all. Yes, it is planned that as Rachel is the one which the audience is rooting for, Hudson’s Darcy shouldn’t be as likable. Hudson is starting to fall victim of being typecast in the same roles we see her in in romantic comedies, so this role really does not seem like anything special. She comes across as annoying and even laughable in the scenes where she is in anger. Colin Egglesfield is also nothing to write home about. Nobody believes that he is really in love with Rachel and he just comes across as dopey and a silly little boy who has no idea what he wants. John Krasinki’s role as childhood friend Ethan is almost useless and it really is a wonder he was included in the movie at all. Obviously, he had a larger role in the novel and was to be kept in the movie to keep it true to the novel. He is actually a saving grace for the small part he plays and his comedy antics.
Unfortunately, there is not too many good things that can be said about “Something Borrowed”. It is quite a shame really as with a few different decisions in the making of the film, it may not have been a classic, but it would have been better than what it was. Thankfully, the decision to have Ginnifer Goodwin as the lead and have the film set in New York City (even if it was in the book) put some credibility into the film. Just a word of advice to the girls out there, keep the peace in your relationship and don’t take your man to see this. He won’t be happy with you and you will probably have to go and see that action film with him that you have been trying to avoid.