Movie Review: Something Borrowed

In the last few years, I've come to expect chick flicks--and I mean that variety of chick flick where the story focuses on female leads, not the romance variety--to be either drama-heavy angst or comedies wherein the women are petty and vicious to each other and we're supposed to laugh accordingly while nodding sagely about how women are ridiculous.

Opening Friday, May 6th, Something Borrowed is not that kind of story! Woohoo! (Thank goodness because my feminist side was really feeling abused.) Based on the best selling book Something Borrowed, starring Ginnifer Goodwin (Big Love, He's Just Not That Into You) and Kate Hudson (Bride Wars, Almost Famous), explores the complicated relationship between two best friends who really care for each other and the fallout that occurs when a love triangle develops. It is a deceptively simple plot but it's not exactly typical and it's rife with questions about what happens when you put other people's feelings ahead of your own. Darcy's (Kate Hudson) fiance is Dex (played by Colin Egglesfield, Melrose Place) who happens to be a long time friend of Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) from law school and also the object of her secret crush. As the wedding approaches, not to mention Rachel's thirtieth birthday, emotions run high, alcohol is imbibed and something happens between Dex and Rachel. Yes, I mean sex. It turns out Dex was harboring some longtime crushing himself. The characters are left to deal with the crisis of not wanting to hurt other people, but still wanting to explore their own feelings. John Krasinski (The Office, It's Complicated) plays the other best friend, Ethan, who figures out what is happening all too quickly and provides an outside perspective, sometimes measured and sometimes not, as he struggles with the situation himself.

This all sounds incredibly heavy handed and I bet you're thinking this must be one of those chick flicks full of the dramatic angst, but it's actually not. The movie is a romantic comedy, with some fun moments by supporting characters Ethan, obnoxious but charming caveman Marcus (Steve Howey), and the lovestruck Claire (Ashley Williams), who all provide needed insight from unexpected places. The movie deftly blends great dialogue (really great!), humor, and real life dilemmas with very believable characters. (And you know, I'm kind of hard on those chick flicks.) I felt like these characters could easily be people I knew in real life making the same mistakes. No one in this movie is an innocent, but no one is purposely vindictive either. There is very little glossed over about the ugliness of betrayal but it also is balanced by sweetness. It was a very realistic and honest look at relationships. Even the ending is grounded in realism, because while it ends on a happy note you're still left with a touch of queasiness at the road the characters took to get there. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this film and found its take refreshing.

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