Hollywood romantic comedies this year marked an eyebrow raising shift toward fuck buddies taking centrestage with the likes of Love and Other Drugs, No Strings Attached and the upcoming Friends with Benefits starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, and Something Borrowed doesn't deviate too much from this formula, having the story set against the background of a love affair that should have started some years back, but only for a drunken night to spark something where it was last left off.
Ginnifer Goodwin and Kate Hudson star as best friends forever Rachel and Darcy, and it's no surprise that these two are of the exact opposites in nature, with Rachel being the nerdier, studious, shy and soft spoken lawyer and Darcy the more gregarious, carefree and flamboyant bride to be, about to get married to Dex (Colin Egglesfield) with whom was sort of introduced to her when she gatecrashed Rachel and Dex's would be date many years ago. So one party gives the man up, the other takes him away, everything's fine and dandy and careening toward nuptials, until affections got slipped which translated to a one night stand and there's a serious love triangle established, with the usual guilt complex coming into play.
So begins the situation where the groom to be cheats on the bride to be with the designated maid of honour, and whether the affair that is growing stronger with each passing day can actually be kept under wraps. In essence this is a story that tosses these questions around seeking solutions, which has many characters exploring their relationships with that added and unnecessary complexity since such things are entirely choices made whether to deceive, to stop, or to continue so long as one does not get caught. Taking place in the city to the weekend getaways where chums bond prior to someone's big wedding, Something Borrowed explores the multiple romantic tangles between friends, where it's only a fool who cannot see pass each of their buddies' infatuation/liking/lust/crush.
While the story isn't too much to shout about since it's pretty much rooted in formula and the inevitable convenient cop out development in the last act to make everyone look good, thus achieving probably the best and most desirable win-win situation rather than the pain that is likely reality, Something Borrowed relies heavily on the cast to deliver the film, made easier since everyone's playing a version of themselves from their filmography in what would be heavy typecasting. For instance, Kate Hudson seems to be the go-to girl nowadays if a film has requirements for a ditzy blonde with that outgoing personality. And for Goodwin it seems that she cannot shake off that damsel in relationship distress type of role given her breakthrough in He's Just Not That Into You, being the person who prefers to be in the shadow of another, and giving things up for the status quo.
The shining light in Something Borrowed happened to be that spot on reflection and portrayal of how male and female confidantes differ from each other, when Rachel has Ethan (John Krasinski) to listen out and to offer advice, and Rachel herself being on the other end when Darcy comes knocking and confessing too, granted that the former is somehow the third party involved. But it does go to show how direct and well-meaning, often straight to the point do guys dish out pearls of wisdom, compared to the more beating about the bush, sneaky manner that the fairer sex do theirs, probably highlighting the hypocritical ways especially when all the beans got spilled. It is this aspect of the film that lifts it above the usual rom-coms to stand out from its peers.
Based on the novel by Emily Giffin, do stay for the coda during the end credits, which suggests a follow up movie to be made, but knowing just how this one did at the box office, having to watch everyone come back for another go since there is actually a sequel to the book, will seem a little bit of a wishful thinking. I won't mind having another go with all the none too subtle Heineken product placement though.