'Something Borrowed'?

Yep, The Formulaic
Plot Structure

In the world of the romantic comedy there is not a whole lot new under the sun, which I suppose is part of the appeal. There is comfort in the familiarity of knowing love will eventually win out over a series of completely ludicrous obstacles and that at some point improbable, spontaneous dancing will break out among the cast. So it is written, so it shall be.

By adhering to this playbook, “Something Borrowed” is about as standard and run-of-the-mill as it gets with only some strong casting and somewhat layered plotting to elevate the movie slightly above mediocrity. Praise doesn’t come much more lukewarm than that.

The story centers on lifelong BFFs Rachel and Darcy. Rachel (as played by the adorable Ginnifer Goodwin) is a mousy, put-upon lawyer who perpetually stands in the shadow of Darcy (Kate Hudson), who in the most positive light would be described as outgoing, spoiled and self-centered.

Complications in their friendship arise upon the arrival of Dex (Colin Egglesfield, best known for his work on the soon-to-be-cancelled soap “All My Children”) who Rachel develops a massive crush for after meeting him in law school.

However, being the doormat that she is, Rachel fails to act on her feelings and Darcy swoops in and lands the hunky Dex. Years later just before Darcy and Dex are set to get married, Rachel and Dex have a spontaneous, romantic hook-up and before you know it we have a full-on love triangle on our hands.

“Something Borrowed” is based on a best-selling novel by Emily Giffin and the story and supporting characters benefit from having a little bit of literary weight behind them. Even as plot complications build with greater and greater ridiculousness, the movie at least manages to hold the characters responsible for their actions (for the most part). Essentially, the whole thing boils down to Rachel being forced to choose between Dex and Darcy, knowing that she can’t have one without losing the other.


“Something Borrowed” was directed by Luke Greenfield whose previous two features were “The Animal” and “The Girl Next Door,” the latter of which wasn’t all that terrible, but neither are exactly triumphs of western cinema. What you can say about Greenfield is that he is highly competent when it comes to delivering broad, ineffectual comedies. Again, behold my mastery of the lukewarm praise.

Greenfield’s biggest flaw is letting the movie run about 20 minutes too long and in that time sneaking in an unnecessary, additional tangent to the love triangle.

Really, how you feel about “Something Borrowed” is going to come down to how you feel about Goodwin and Hudson, with a strong assist going to John Krasinski who gets all the best lines as Rachel’s plutonic buddy Ethan. I happened to find them all to be charming and relatable which in turn made “Something Borrowed” a nontorturous proposition, which in a lot of cases with movies like this, is the best you can possibly hope to ask for.

The nice thing about this movie and its complete lack of surprises is that you should be fairly confident of how much (or how little) you will enjoy it before you ever set foot inside the theater. I am now going to bring this review to a close because I simply can’t dish out any more of my patented lukewarm praise. It’s going to be a long summer and I need to pace myself.

“Something Borrowed” is rated PG-13 for sexual content including dialogue, and some drug material.

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