Something Borrowed

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By Clint Morris

If it were a flower, ”Something Borrowed” would be a captivatingly beautiful exotic offering that, without room to grow, slowly but surely falls apart.

Though much better than your standard rom-com (particularly others that Kate Hudson has starred in; her recent back catalogue of fluffy flops will still likely scare people off though I imagine?) – and that’s mostly due to the presence of its wondrously likeable, fresh-faced female lead Ginnifier Goodwin – the feature film adaptation of a novel by Emily Giffin works only up to a point (at least for those not familiar with the book; I have to wonder whether the film, much like “Twilight”, will play better with die-hard lovers of the literary offering?)… the point where you realize the production’s forgotten to invest in a good pair of scissors.

It may be appreciably unpredictable (in other words, this isn’t the ”My Best Friend’s Wedding” clone the trailers may perceive it to be) but director Luke Greenfield ‘s loser-in-love yarn loses its footing about an hour-in, namely because it starts wrapping things up way too early…. before winding up everyone again to replay the same movements and do alternate variations on earlier scenes for the next hour. It’s the ”Bad Boys 2” of rom-coms if you will. Like Hansel and Gretel restepping on the same breadcrumbs, ultimately realizing they’re going over the same bits of dough, the film seems to go round-and-round in circles – before ultimately picking up the pace and heading for the decent-enough finale. By this time of course, the audience is so taxed and are so worn out that that charming climax isn’t half as enjoyable as what it would’ve been had the film been equipped with a better editor.

Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) is the cute but quiet sidekick to the loud, attention-seeking, Darcy (Kate Hudson). Darcy has always gotten what she wants – and that includes the man Rachel has always pined for, her former college buddy Dex (Colin Egglesfield). Much to Rachel’s surprise, the mixed-up miss discovers Dex feels the same way about her and the duo begin an affair behind his fiancée/her best friend’s back.

Rachel’s sound male pal John (John Krasinski), who is having women trouble of his own (in that he’s trying to get away from a lass that’s seemingly stalking him from every direction), advises his lovesick friend to stop the affair – for everyone’s sake.

Okay, so Kate Hudson (”Bride Wars”, ”Fools Gold”, ”My Best Friend’s Girl”) has the bitch role down pat – but ‘cmon! does she play anything else!? No wonder she can nail the part, she’s had enough practice! – but headliner Ginnifer Goodwin (who made her big screen splash in another above average rom-com, ”He’s Just Not That Into You” a year or so back) owns the movie. She’s delightful. A cross between Audrey Hepburn and Phoebe Cates, Goodwin brings with her something many of today’s young actresses don’t – believability. Whether it’s because of her ‘normal’ size bod or her sweet, naive performances (you’ll also know her from cable hit ”Big Love”), or a combination of both, one thing’s for sure – you believe this girl; Ginnifer Goodwin is the real-life Bridget Jones and she’s just as fun, if not more to watch, than her fictional counterpart. The girl lights up a room… or a dull scene, as is the case here.

Greenfield has rounded up a nice support cast, too. Though John Krasinski (”The Office”) has a difficult character to play, in that his ‘John’ has to remain likeable but at the same time come off like an arrogant bitch at times, he gives a fairly fine-tuned though unmemorable turn; Colin Egglesfield, who three or four may recognize as ‘the cook’ from the quickly-axed ”Melrose Place” reboot, fares a bit better, oozing charm and remaining likeable throughout – even when, let’s admit it, we probably should be despising the indecisive life-wrecker; and Steve Howey, playing the same goofish pig he plays on TVs Shameless, provides a few laughs as dimish womanizer Marcus.

(Though she’s credited as a producer, actress Hilary Swank doesn’t make an on-screen appearance in the film; gotta wonder whether she’d planned on playing Rachel herself at one stage?.)

The script for the film should have been culled before shooting because it’s quite simply too long and encompasses too many scenes that either serve the same purpose or don’t push the film forward at all, but thanks to the lovely Ms Goodwin and a familiar but somewhat surprising storyline, ”Something Borrowed” is an oft-enjoyable and fun enough chick flick that near makes up for Kate Hudson’s last few stinkers.

Extras :

Quite a few featurettes and a gag reel.