That’s one way of putting the storyline. You could also describe it as an affair between the world’s most indecisive man and his fiancée’s hypocritical best friend.
Based on Emily Giffin’s 2004 best-selling novel, the movie’s premise seems to ask if it is justifiable to extinguish one’s own moral code in favor of discovering true love. But in the case of “Something Borrowed”, there is no grace of redemption or honorable atonement because these characters are all truly despicable individuals from start to finish.
The concept of the story alone is enough to make me want to avoid these people entirely. How can we feel impacted by any of this drama if there is not a single character to admire?
That’s not entirely true. There are some saving graces among the cast of actors. Chief among them is the Spawn of Hawn. Kate Hudson fails yet again to become the antagonist in a fairy-tale fantasy chick flick because she is so damn electric as a screen presence.
We are meant to be offended by Hudson’s portrayal of the egotistical and manipulative Darcy, the ironic cuckold in this adulterous scenario. As with the book, the story’s intention is to embrace the forbidden love between Dex (Colin Egglesfield) and Rachel. But the nature of their relationship is a stale cracker compared to the spicy Nachos Hudson brings to the table.
This is the first time I have ever seen Ginnifer Goodwin in action. And she did a fine job playing the not-as-fun-but-supposedly-wholesome Rachel. Goodwin has an uncommon resemblance to a young Sally Field, which will probably earn her scores of roles as nuns, teachers, and soccer moms for years to come. She plays the part of the love-starved heroine with as much humility and patience as one can muster for a part that is primarily deceitful and selfish.
Remember how much you hated Julia Roberts in “My Best Friend’s Wedding”? The same principles apply.
Darcy may be self-centered and narcissistic, but at least she is fun to watch. As in “Bride Wars” and “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”, Hudson strains with effort to be irritating and boisterous in order to play the nemesis. But the fact of the matter is that she is such an engaging firework, you really can’t be disturbed by the noise she creates.
Whenever she interrupts the irresolute flirtations between Dex and Rachel, it is a welcome joy to listen to someone interesting for a change. The only character who seems to have any understanding of ethical behavior is Rachel’s best friend, Ethan (John Krasinski), who ends up moving to London by the end of the picture . . . probably just to get away from all of these horrible people.
In summary, Rachel is a backstabbing home wrecker, who spends the entire movie putting her own romantic ambitions in front of the respect she should have for her friends. Dex is a spineless cheater, whose good lucks and charming demeanor are outmatched by his complete lack of respect for his loved ones. And Darcy is the victimized casualty of their illegitimate affair.
Even though Hudson plays Darcy with energetic fervor, it is hard to feel her pain due to the blatant obviousness of the affair occurring in front of her. How can someone who is supposedly so self-centered overlook the apparent lack of loyalty from the two most important people in her life?
As a matter of fact, the film also fails to make clear how these two women ever became friends in the first place. Through traditional use of montage accompanied by sappy 90’s music, the film purports that Rachel and Darcy were inseparable BFFs before the complication of Dex. So we are led to believe that they somehow became friends, but it is anyone’s guess as to how they stayed friends through the years.
After all, these two women are dissimilar in every imaginable way, except for their apparent taste in men. Their friendship is about as genuine as Dex’s respect for whoever shares his bed.
The movie actually references the climactic scenes from Adrian Lynne’s 1987 remake of “Fatal Attraction”. And “Something Borrowed” is a bit like this movie, with all three amoral adulterers playing the part of Glenn Close’s rabbit-killing Alex.