Something Borrowed, Review of the Film, but the book is available at booksellers nationwide, including Amazon.com. I find films rarely live up to the novels from which they are formed and have included a convenient link in case you would like to head down that path.
Typically I won't be reviewing this type of film. No, I have nothing against films based on books, nor do I against films primarily marketed to the female demographic. In fact, keep this a secret, I actually enjoy films that deal with the inner workings of relationships, adjustment, transition and Love. However, that all said, I rarely spend the money to go see this style of film at the theater. Netflix or cable, sure.
Anyhow, I did go and see Something Borrowed yesterday, and not because I was under any obligation to another person. The reason I saw this film is, by all confessional standards, shallow. Ever since I first saw Big Love on HBO I've been mesmerized by Ginnifer Goodwin. I can't pinpoint the reason other than the simplicity of her being I find genuinely attractive. Very few actresses have the box office draw/magnetizing control over me. I can name them on six fingers. But I'm getting beside myself here.
A caveat: I did not read the novel by Emily Griffin, but as with all books to film, I like to see the creation from each aspect, therefore I will do that eventually, and most likely revisit this review at that point.
From a film standpoint: The setting of NYC offers overdone but never passe visuals. The buildings, the streets, the small shops. Without gushing too much, it's a city like no other. But what I find so nice about this film is the contrasting settings and all that go with them, between NYC and the Hamptons. The two, despite their relative proximity to one another are two completely separate worlds, from the hustle and bustle, overcrowded streets of NYC to the sprawling landscapes and relaxing transparency of the Hamptons. For the purpose of this film the contrast goes much deeper. Two best friends, Goodwin and Kate Hudson, are so close yet so far apart in so many categories it's a wonder how they could be or could ever have been close to one another.
What I Liked the most: The well drawn, if not exaggerated, characters. Each character had their own appeal and defective parts. Without examining each character from an individual viewpoint, I would like to mention how, again, a well drawn compare/contrast is effectively displayed.
Hudson's and Goodwin's characters I've touched upon but a subtle reflection/symmetry is seen through Dex and Marcus. This isn't as well defined as the Hudson/Goodwin dynamic but it is a nice mirroring provided for the audience.
What I disliked: Ethan, the male confidant to Goodwin's character got the shaft. It was painfully obvious how his character felt towards her, and his relationship was again a reflection of the unsaid, fear and letting go that her character for the longest time felt for Dex. When he did tell her how he felt, it obviously wasn't going to work out, which he knew beforehand, yet because of all his preaching to her about laying all your cards on the table and to be decisive he practiced what he preached.
I guess I found this unsettling, not in the portrayal or the dynamic itself, but because it happens. Who hasn't felt so much for someone else only to have them love someone else. Hits home. This wouldn't have been so dramatic if, at least in my mind, Ethan deserved her and Dex did not.
Anyhow if you've read the book or are a fan of this style of film, or simply like watching the inner workings of relationship, this film is for you, or could be for you. If you are looking for a romantic comedy, although Something Borrowed has its moments, this film may not be for you. If you need a small to medium cathartic cry, you may be surprised how easily you'll relate to, or at the least have seen before, each of these types of characters, and therefore become vested in their success and/or failures.