This is a really good movie, and for a lot of different reasons. The 1st thing I’d like to comment on is the acting. Yes, I know – I usually comment on it, don’t I? But isn’t that a major factor in determining the actual quality of a film? I take one look at this cast and I say “interesting”. Why? Mostly, I state that because some of the cast I knew and some I didn’t. I remember Ginnifer Goodwin from “He’s Just Not That into You” and I remember liking her. She kind of reminds me of Sara Rue from TV fame of Less Than Perfect (an absolutely AWESOME sitcom BTW). I know John Krasinski also from TV (The Office) and from yet another very funny turn in the film “It’s Complicated”. Now, that alone was reason to take note of this movie. But I had forgotten that Kate Hudson was in this. Stop here. Now, this is part of my review where I turn vicious. Well…sort of.
Okay, first off, Kate really fills the shoes of this character and she’s positively vile. I mean, there are times where I just wanted to punch this character in the face kind of vile. Now, here’s where I get personal. Kate’s growing older. Great, I say. Now, can actresses in Hollywood today just simply AGE? Come on people! Enough with the Botox, facial lifts, and extreme dieting. What am I getting at here? Kate looks B-A-D. She looks like she’s lived a hard life and is a woman of maybe 20 years older than she really is. Is that too critical? I don’t know. I like her as an actress and maybe that’s exactly why I am fired up on this issue. Ladies – and gentlemen too – of Hollywood, please just allow nature to run its course. You get a ton of makeup and costumes for your roles anyway, so why distort your face to resemble a hard wax copy of yourself? Why not eat normally and put on some healthy weight? That skin-and-bones look to Kate Hudson’s arms REALLY bothers me. This may seem unfair to unload on poor Kate Hudson for this when there are SOOOOOO many “better” examples of what I am talking about here. It’s just that when I like an actor or actress and they turn to these extremes, it is painful to watch.
Now, on to the good stuff. John Krasinski is entertaining to watch. I find his humor refreshing and he has this quirky good guy nerd charm that plays really well in Romantic Comedies. I wish him even more roles in the future, because I think he’s actually pretty hysterical. John’s character of Ethan is memorable and likeable right from the start. I loved his “ducking” of his paramour Claire. That’s great! Ginnifer Godwin is great as the lead character, and most of why she works so well is that she looks the part. I believed her as a law student. I believed her falling in love and not actually acting on those feelings. She plays the shy nice girl really well. If it were not for these two actors, this film could have failed miserably. As the story plays out, I found myself just wanting to watch these two interact with each other and couldn’t have cared less about the rest of the cast. Follow this one to where the story reaches London and you will see what I mean.
As for the rest of the cast, I like Steve Howey (from TV hit Reba), but he was kind of wasted talent in this film. It would have been nice to see more screen time for Steve in this one. Colin Egglesfield plays Dex, who completely looks the part and is actually a pretty great actor. I didn’t know him at all, so this was really nice. I found an actor I didn’t know at all that did a pretty great job – so I’ll be looking for his future work. I also have to say that the character of Claire (played with gusto by Ashley Williams) is a fantastic addition to the film! The rest of the cast is almost irrelevant.
The story to this film though is tightly wound together and it is that tension of the story that gets you rooting for the underdogs, hating certain characters, turning around to pity them in the next 15 minutes, and then at the end, you feel a sense of reality. Yep, this film ends in this realistic fashion that makes you happy that you watched it. It comes at you from all sides it seems. I was torn between rooting for the film to end one way, but I honestly liked the ending they gave better than the one I was thinking of.
There is a big ugly factor for this film though: a major portion of the film deals with the subject of cheating. I know there’s the atmosphere of “oh, it’s okay because it’s a movie” here, but honestly I hate that thinking because it’s never okay. (I must be seriously deranged given the Kardashian-speed-of-divorce mentality that seems rampant these days.) I don’t think “Something Borrowed” really dodges the question, and in fact it actually shows you what can happen in these situations. It gets ugly. So, while there is cheating going on, this film is not actually saying “it’s okay” to cheat nor does it offer anything resembling an endorsement of that behavior. I believe it does a decent job of showing you how far true love can carry a person, up to and including making some very scary decisions that can DRAMATICALLY change your life. That’s some pretty heavy material, but I think the film captures it with that subtle blend between Romantic Comedy and being realistic. And that ain’t easy to do.
There’s a chunk of the film in New York and there’s a chunk of the film set in the Hamptons. It seems that everybody in the movie is affluent and wealthy and doing pretty good financially. And you know what? That’s okay. It’s a movie – not reality. It entertained me and that’s fine. When it comes to criticisms of a film the last thing anyone should fuss over is that “these films” (I guess that’s Romantic Comedies?) always seem to take place in NYC. Hey, you know what? Des Moines just isn’t that eye-catching or memorable. (This is my defense for ALL films set in New York City, and I don’t think there’s a better one.)
Just sit back and get ready to absorb this film, because it reels you right in. It’s engaging, honest, funny and charming at numerous points, but definitely ending with a superb feel-good-for-the-right-reasons kind of touch. Well done! My wife and I both thoroughly enjoyed “Something Borrowed”.
…and that’s it for this edition of THE REEL VOICE
- Airplane Movie – Something Borrowed (thepoppedcorn.wordpress.com)
- He’s Just Not That Into You (reelvoice2013.wordpress.com)
- Wedding Movie Monday… (ruthpartyoftwo.wordpress.com)