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Something Borrowed Reviews: "Lame, Misjudged, Plastic, Obnoxious"

by Anne Thompson
May 5, 2011 1:07 AM
5 Comments
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Thompson on Hollywood


Even the combined adorability and charm of Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin, John Krasinski and Colin Egglesfield can't seem to pull any love from reviews of this relationship comedy about a young woman who falls in love with her best friend's fiance, which will only suffer by comparison to the recent genuine romantic article: the royal wedding.

This freshman effort from producer Hilary Swank and partner Molly Smith tries to remedy what's wrong with the current rom-com formula by casting non-movie star brunette Goodwin in the lead role as a passive shrinking violet and exuberantly blonde Hudson as her narcissistic best girlfriend who is about to marry Goodwin's soul mate. The movie throws out some challenging moral dilemmas at the start but flounders on weak writing, bad casting and unsatisfying resolution. Anti-heroine Goodwin can't carry this movie; it would help if we liked Hudson more. Why would anyone want to be friends with this screeching, constantly tipsy harpy? (A sampling from critics and the trailer are below.)

Thompson on Hollywood


So far critics are trashing Something Borrowed, which currently boasts 18% on the Tomatometer -- except for Rex Reed, who gushes over "delectable morsel" Goodwin.

Something Borrowed is earning worse reviews than the upcoming Bridesmaids, which also goes overboard in painting women at their worst, as well as teen flick Prom. But when Drew Barrymore delivers authentic girl-power goods with Whip It, women don't show up in theaters.

Caryn James:

“'The Hamptons are like a zombie movie directed by Ralph Lauren.' Enjoy that line, because it’s about the only one that might make you laugh in the irredeemably lame romcom Something Borrowed. From the minute you see Ginnifer Goodwin wearing an unconvincing long brown wig, you have an inkling of just how false this by-the-numbers film is going to be."

Nick Pinkerton:

"The poster, featuring colorful little boxes with headshots of the stars, is nearly the same lazy design used to promote the superb, humane comedy How Do You Know last year—a disturbing example of insensate Hollywood selling its best and worst in the same package. If not the worst, this is at least the most dissembling. It’s no coincidence that Something Borrowed features lawyer protagonists; while making a pretense of being a comedy of modern sexual ethics, the movie never asks a hard question without an answer prepared in advance."
Thompson on Hollywood


Kirk Honeycutt:

"Something Borrowed doesn’t so much borrow from other movies as settle into a comfort zone of raising provocative questions regarding love, commitment and marriage only to dismiss them with a brush of a hand as so much dandruff. Box office will reflect audiences’ willingness to tolerate such laziness…Consequently, you don’t really like anyone here. No one deserves to be happy given the bad decisions, wrong values and susceptibility to outside pressure all the characters suffer from."

Peter Debruge:

"Based on Emily Giffin's beach-read bestseller, this relatively charmless adaptation centers on the relatable-enough panic of watching one's ideal partner tie the knot with the wrong person, but ditches all the elements that link the premise to real life,…Try as she might, Hudson can't turn Darcy into a three-dimensional character: She's astonishingly easy to dislike,..And so, in the absence of a naturally comedic cast, Krasinski becomes the go-to guy for funny cutaways, with The Office thesp delivering his trademark monkey-face expressions whenever the other characters do something weird. Even with nothing more to do, he's a more plausible love interest than Egglesfield's Dex, a Tom Cruise-handsome rich kid who's spent his whole life trying to please his parents."

Andrew Urban:

"Kate Hudson does obnoxious brilliantly, and her performance as Darcy along with that of John Krasinski as Ethan are the two things - the only two things - that are worthy of note in this appallingly, irritatingly misjudged movie…we soon lose interest in their romantic plight and wish the film didn't feel like a three hour marathon of plastic situations and plastic characters."

Roger Moore:

"Thank heavens Krasinski, at least, had the screenwriter’s ear. He makes every one-liner land…And the message of it all may be the blandest, most trite ingredient on the screen here, that 'Sometimes good people do bad things.' Talk about 'Something Borrowed.'"

5 Comments

  • Lucy Engelhart | May 11, 2011 12:00 PMReply

    Come on! Emily Giffin fans are a bunch of girls who thrive on betrayl, cheating and self inflicted drama. Sad that chick lit has become a genre that many of these women live on. It’s time for these "loyal fans" to get rid of their frenemies and listen to the critics. Maybe pick up a classic book. The movie has been called “shallow and obnoxious” by well respected grown ups. They are on to something, not Something Borrowed or Something Blue … something REAL.
    P.S. Emily, you can’t only love the “critics” when they love you … it is time for you to grow up too and remember, that it is these same critics, after all who made you a best selling author.

  • Dawn | May 11, 2011 1:08 AMReply

    I read the book and loved...I was so excited to see it come to life on the big screen and I thoroughly enjoyed what I saw. There were some changes made in the movie that I liked - i.e. the dancing scene in the bar where Rachel was trying to compete with Darcy at and got "injured." and others that I did not like - i.e. where Ethan seems to be professing his love for Rachel when she went to Europe. I also think the fact that I also read Something Blue before seeing the movie helped me to get to know the characters more. Overall, I had a great time watching it with some friends that also read the book and talking about it over dinner afterwards..I know I am not a movie critic, but really, if I enjoyed it, that is really all that matters to me!

  • Tara | May 7, 2011 11:33 AMReply

    I enjoyed it. I loved the book and was really looking forward to the movie. Yes, Darcy is over the top obnoxious and I don't like some of the changes they made from the book, but after reading some of the reviews, I was dreading seeing it - so I guess I had lowered expectations. I'm not a fan of any of the actors besides John Krasinski (who was great), but they all did fine. I hope this movie does well so they will make Something Blue. I am curious to read reviews by people who read the book.

  • david gritten | May 6, 2011 7:00 AMReply

    Sounds terrible -- but wait until Kate Hudson's A Little Bit of Heaven opens Stateside. It's jaw-droppingly awful. Our Kate plays a tough gal who cares little for permanent relationships, but then her life changes radically when she's diagnosed with cancer -- the sort that requires her to smile and simper incessantly. Oh, and she falls for her doctor.His name is Julian Goldstein. He's played by Gael Garcia Bernal. Spot the disconnect there? Oh, and Whoopi Goldberg plays God. It needs to be seen to be believed. It's actually patronising and insulting to people who really do have a terminal illness. I'm thinking of organising a UK affiliate of the Razzie awards specifically so this one can be honoured. Another milestone for Ms. Hudson!

  • Scratching my head | May 5, 2011 1:54 AMReply

    My question is when did Kate Hudson decide to even stop trying and settle to become a hack? This is her, what?, fourth? 5th? rom-com on which she plays the exact same in-your-face, narcassistic person. BORING! Hasn't anyone on her team realized that there is a very limited shelf life to being a blushing bride?

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