Ah, the rules of feminism. Who came up with them, how flexible are they and when is it legitimately fair to pull an “Oh NO she didn’t?” National best-selling author, Emily Griffin, has an opinion or two in her novel, Something Borrowed, which was quickly adapted and now stands several days shy of release. Directed by Luke Greenfield (The Girl Nextdoor) and pimping a solid celebrity line-up (Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin, John Krasinski) the rom-com hits theaters Friday, May 6 – (and WILL be your newest guilty pleasure pic, ladies).
- Director: Luke Greenfield
- Writer: Emily Griffin (novel) Jennie Snyder Urman (adaptation)
- Cast: Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin, Colin Egglesfield, John Krasinski, Steve Howey, Ashley Williams
- Producer: Hilary Swank
Rachel (Goodwin), an attorney at a New York law firm is a generous, loyal and pathetically passive friend to Darcy (Hudson) who is obnoxiously fun, irritatingly beautiful and somehow still charming. Rachel has been single for the greater fraction of her life, and on the evening of her 30th birthday she drunkenly winds up in the arms of her college crush – Dex – who unfortunately enough is Darcy’s fiance. Sentiments are exchanged, confessions are declared, and lips (ahem) are locked. Weeks before Dex/Darcy’s wedding, Rachel is stuck in a royal dilemma as she weighs the importance of two seemingly indispensable people: her best friend and the love of her life.
- Performances (Goodwin/Hudson): What’s particularly appealing about these characters (and particularly unusual for rom-coms) is how relatable they are. Rachel and Darcy both screw up – there is neither an obvious “villain” to hate nor underdog to root for in this tumultuous rivalry. Griffin captures an honest, human reality by affording her characters both fantastic and horrible qualities. This approach, however, left the actors walking a precariously fine line. It’s difficult to lie, betray and run around like a selfish monster (which both characters do for most of this picture) and keep the audience from strongly disliking you. On paper, Rachel and Darcy are almost entirely unsympathetic characters. Winning the affection of the audience was almost completely contingent on their personalities, and therefore Goodwin’s and Hudson’s performances. Both actresses, specifically Hudson, rose to the occasion. In fact, I’d argue it’s her best performance since Almost Famous.
- Raises Questions: When the “good” and “bad” characters aren’t blatantly presented to the audience, we’re forced to formulate our own opinions (a challenge, or luxury, rarely allotted to audiences nowadays). I’d like to think that the powerful films are the ones provoking thought of any sort. And, let me tell you, this chick flick absolutely has you reassessing the moves you’ve made with friends and lovers. What’s an honest, human mistake and what ‘s indisputably unforgivable? Is it that black or white?
- Supporting Cast: While the story is primarily centered around Rachel and Darcy, each sub-plot line involving supporting characters (Krasinski, Williams, Howey) was equally interesting and equally well-acted.
- I’ve committed to this attitude on the rom-com front and I stand by it: If your expectations exceed the reality of the genre, you will be disappointed. Take it for what it is – cliches and all.
A hell of a rom-com with a little more substance than usual.
Something Borrowed in theaters May 6th!