Thursday, May 12, 2011

SOMETHING BORROWED - Yeah, Lots Borrowed

SOMETHING BORROWED (romantic comedy)
Cast: Ginnifer Goodwin, Kate Hudson, Colin Egglesfield, John Krasinski, Steve Howey and Ashley Williams
Director: Luke Greenfield
Screenplay by: Jennie Snyder Urman, based on the novel by Emily Griffin
Time: 110 mins
Rating: * * (out of 4)

Krazinski, Goodwin, Hudson and Egglesfield

PREAMBLE: Something Borrowed is a lot like Eat Pray Love - they both work better as books rather than movies. In Eat Pray Love, the reader is privy to the private and personal thoughts of the protagonist, while the viewer is not and therefore would not sympathise with her.

In Something Borrowed, pretty much the same thing happens: without the explanatory narrative of the written word, we get tired of the dithering and manipulative characters rather quickly and lose our patience with them. To make things worse, director Luke Greenfield employs so many rom-com cliches that the title sounds pretty apt.

Hudson and Egglesfield

SYNOPSIS: New York lawyer Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) has been in love with Dex (Colin Egglesfield) since law school. However, she refuses to acknowledge it and allows her best friend Darcy (Kate Hudson) to date him.

Six years later, Darcy and Dex are engaged. One night, after a wild birthday party, Rachel drunkenly tells Dex that she had a crush on him in law school. The two end up in bed together after he says he felt the same way. They wake up the next morning to frantic phone calls from Darcy who is trying to find out what happened to her fiance last night. When will the true lovers own up to the selfish and overbearing Darcy?

REVIEW: Love triangles involving best friends are as old as the hills. Everyone in the audience must have encountered one or two in real-life, so what's the big deal here? The story, by Jennie Snyder Urman (adapted from the novel by Emily Griffin), is basically lame and sloppily contrived.

Despite commendable performances by Goodwin and Hudson, their characters seem only able to exist in fiction. Goodwin's Rachel, for instance, is so deep into self-denial that we wonder how she has managed to get to where she is in life. Ditto that for Dex, the poor rich kid who is so scared of hurting his obnoxious dad and fiancee.

There is the subplot with Evan (John Krasinski) as Rachel's buddy and confidant so that she can pour out her feelings to the audience through him. However, their relationship is left underdeveloped (Evan is obviously in love with Rachel, but again, he is too shy to admit it) until almost at the last minute. Meanwhile, the ridiculous crush that Darcy's friend Claire (Ashley Williams) has on Evan is repetitive and unfunny.

And that dance routine with Hudson and Goodwin jiving to Salt 'N Pepa's Push It seem so out of context that it can only be to 'sell' the movie on Youtube. With her signature high-voltage smile, Goodwin is capable of charming anyone. However, she has the bad luck to play a character that few would sympathise with.

THE LOWDOWN: Disappointing.


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