By Matt Brunson
DIRECTED BY Luke Greenfield
STARS Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin
Folks often wish that real life could be more like the movies, but Something Borrowed makes me wish that the movies could be more like real life. In reality, I suspect most of us would cross a crowded highway barefoot and bleeding to avoid any contact whatsoever with the insufferable twits populating this gruesome rom-com. But moviegoers who don't want to have wasted an exorbitant admission fee (or, in some cases, are professionally paid to suffer through the very last screen credit) will feel bound to remain in their seats, which by the end of the picture will resemble an electric chair more than a plush auditorium rocker.
Based on Emily Giffin's novel, this stars Ginnifer Goodwin and Kate Hudson as Rachel and Darcy, lifelong best friends both in love with the same man. That would be Dex (Colin Egglesfield), who had a connection with Rachel six years ago while they both attended law school. But rather than act on their mutual attraction, Dex allowed himself to get swept away by the assertive party girl Darcy while wallflower Rachel merely stood by and grinned. Now, Dex and Darcy are set to be married, but a drunken tryst between Dex and Rachel causes complications. Should they tell Darcy about their dalliance? Should Dex leave Darcy and shack up with Rachel? Or should Rachel just continue to hold her tongue and allow Darcy to abscond with the only man she's ever loved?
As in most formulaic romantic comedies involving a love triangle, the filmmakers attempt to make things as easy as possible for the audience by presenting one of the players as the "bad guy" in this case, it's Hudson's shallow, self-centered ditz. But here's where this ruse backfires on director Luke Greenfield and adapter Jennie Snyder: Practically all of the characters are odious, meaning we don't care about the fates of any of them. Especially unlikable is Dex, who's presented as practically the most desirable man in all of New York even though he's a hypocritical, indecisive, insensitive and unobservant dullard (Egglesfield's bland performance doesn't help). Rachel's cluelessness is off-putting, and the supporting ranks are populated by the usual mix of unkempt braggart (Steve Howey), psychotic ex-girlfriend (Ashley Williams) and sarcastic best friend (John Krasinski, the film's sole bright spot).
True to its generic, genetic code, Something Borrowed also features a rainstorm during a climactic confession (perhaps Thor was working overtime?) as well as the sight of our leading ladies engaging in a torturous living-room dance of an oldie but goodie. Yet as they gyrated their way through Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It," all I could think was how I wanted to take this movie and shove it.