What is it about romance, one of the most well-defined genres in film and literature, that seems so hard to get right? Each year, countless vapid love stories flood the cinema (or more often the DVD shelf), polluting our screens with their noxious, saccharine presence. In 2011, Something Borrowed is perhaps the most offensive example; a pointless, over-long mess populated with unlikable characters and underdeveloped plots.
Something Borrowed is a love triangle of sorts, beginning with our ‘heroine’ Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) sleeping with her best friend Darcy’s (Kate Hudson) husband-to-be Dex (Colin Egglesfield). Floating around in the background is old college pal Ethan (John Krasinski), the only decent person in the whole film, who unfortunately has no bearing on the plot and serves only as a shoddy bait-and-switch device, dropping out of the conclusion completely and with no explanation. Hudson, who seems to have the lame romantic comedy market sewn up at this point, is the worst offender, and Darcy is so wholly despicable that it’s almost impossible to believe that any of the surrounding characters would put up with her self-obsessed demeanour for as long as they have. At times it feels as if the filmmakers are attempting to shake up the formula a little, yet none of it comes together in anything resembling a satisfying conclusion, and ironically a more predictable climax to this story might have redeemed the film at least a little. None of the character arcs are believable or interesting, and at almost two hours, Something Borrowed outstays its welcome by at least 30 minutes.
How films like Something Borrowed continue to get made is understandable; the audience for this nonsense are nothing if not easily amused. However, it’s hard to believe that even the most dedicated romantic comedy fan will find much to enjoy in this film. It is a scar on the face of romance, and doesn’t deserve to be seen by anyone. And for the love of all that’s holy, please stop giving Kate Hudson these scripts.