This review first appeared in the Sunday Star Times, 7th August 2011
Another confession: I loved He’s Just Not That Into You, with the terrific Ginnifer Goodwin. Although rather too cute to be truly pitied, she was great as a loser in love who finally got her man.
The producers of the movie adaptation of Emily Giffin’s novel Something Borrowed obviously saw it too, so they appropriated GG to play Rachel, a young lawyer, just turned 30, who is feeling the pressure of her ticking biological clock and the heartache of watching her best friend Darcy prepare to marry the love of her life. That’s Rachel’s life, not Darcy’s. Because Darcy (Kate Hudson, walking a fine line between insufferable and occasionally delightful) and fiancé Dex really only got together because Rachel wasn’t gutsy enough to get in there ten years ago. She should really have moved on, but of course she can’t.
In classical literature, this would be a true dilemma – being passively, yet passionately in love with the man your friend is to marry, sporting your bridesmaid’s smile and stoically helping to choose the shoes. But this is modern chick-lit, so early on in the piece Rachel and Dex fall into bed, then spend the rest of the film ricocheting between feeling guilty, expressing angst-filled emotion, while faking it to themselves and everyone else.
With all this bad behaviour it’s hard to feel sympathy for any of them, though it’s possibly not helped that Dex, the object of desire, is played by the distinctly uncharismatic Colin Egglesfield, who has years of mediocre television under his thespian’s belt, but nothing behind his eyes. The Office’s John Krasinski breathes some life into proceedings as he tries to talk sense into Rachel, but ultimately no one can really be redeemed and the attempt at a happy ending tastes a bit sour.