Sunday, 15 May 2011

Paint by numbers school of chick-flicks

"Something borrowed" review

In the last few months I have been fortunate enough to see a wide selection of good films, with offerings such as Limitless, Source Code and Hanna all providing me with many hours of entertainment. Sadly this run of form came crashing to a halt as I entered the cinema to see "Something borrowed".



Luke Greenfield's romantic 'comedy' was always going to be a test for me as it is a genre of film that I certainly don't favour, but I tried my best to remain neutral and unbiased, hoping that it would turn out to be one of the few gems that you can watch with your other half without wanting to gauge ones' brain out with a plastic Ben & Jerry's spoon. Sadly this wasn't the case.

Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) is a career-minded lawyer, who has grown up watching her best friend Darcy (Kate Hudson) succeed at everything despite her care free attitude and 'party-animal' approach to life. Darcy has even managed to get herself engaged to Dex (Colin Egglesfield), who was the focus of Rachel's romantic attentions at law school.

Rachel gets the gift she has always wanted on her 30th birthday, as her and Dex share a kiss and end up spending the night together. She wakes up feeling awful, but is torn between the feelings of guilt for stabbing her best friend in the back and her desire to be with Dex herself.

As we move towards Dex and Darcy's wedding date, we watch as Rachel and Dex are inexplicitly forced to spend more and more time together. With both Rachel and Dex seemingly the perfect couple, Dex then has to make a tough decision. Does he stay with Darcy to keep everyone around him happy or does he follow his heart and go with Rachel? Harrowing stuff indeed.



My 2 cents

One thing that irritates me about the term 'romatic comedy' is that it implies that films from this genre are actually funny. I went through the entire film without even a snigger.

Ginnifer Goodwin is quite a likeable actress but the dialogue given to her was predictable and bland.  Her supporting lead Kate Hudson, in my opinion, is the most overrated comic actress out there. Her portrayal of the demanding party girl Darcy was purely awful. She did a very good job in showing Darcy as a truley despisable character - I'm pretty certain this wasn't Greenfield's intention. If Darcy was one of my friends I would have to fake my own death just to avoid her 'hilarous' antics.

The American 'Office' star John Krasinski was even rolled in to provide some sembelence of real humour as Rachel's good friend Ethan. However, his talent for cynical, sarcastic one-liners was wasted on a character that was simply not needed in this film.

The main love interest Dex was a good looking lawyer type, but his character was so underdeveloped that they could have opted to lever a cardboard cut-out into each of his scenes.

The main area that the film failed in was its inability to make the audience feel any kind of sympathy for the lead characters.  Fair enough, Rachel was a nice enough women whose love life may evoke some form of pity but this still wasn't enough. The underlying problem was that despite making a lot of Rachel and Darcy's close relationship you got the impression that they wouldn't have cared if they never saw each other again (interestingly this was the only feeling I shared).  They constantly lied to each other, moaned about the others' personalities and generally seemed to dislike spending time together. Deep down they really didnt seem to like each other much at all.

With this feeling prominent, it makes me wonder why we had to watch an hour of Rachel and Dex dithering about the right thing to do. In my opinion, the right thing to do would have been to have never made this film. 


My rating: 1/5

For me, this was a poor film. Not all rom-coms are bad but sadly this won't go down as one of the exceptions. It was from the paint by numbers school of chick-flicks, sticking rigidly to the formula that many romantic comedies follow. If you like films like this type of film, many of which feature Jennifer Anisten, then you would probably enjoy this film. Not for me though thanks.

 

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