Sunday, 22 May 2011

REVIEW: Something Borrowed

This picture says everything I could never say.

Just before I say what I'm going to say, I want it clear that I think Something Borrowed is a bad movie because it so thoroughly is. But this seeing the critical reaction to this, and say, the critical reaction to Fast Five, I can't think there's something amiss here. Fast Five was praised for being generic, praised for being simple, forgiven for being stupid and forgiven for its bad acting. Basically it was beloved for not trying to be anything that wasn't what it was. Something Borrowed is a film that does exactly the same things Fast Five does, only here its been savaged instead of praised and its faults lambasted instead of forgiven. You can like Fast Five, who am I to tell you not to, but you lose the right to slam on Something Borrowed. The romantic comedy of course deserves these criticisms, but so did Fast Five. Its not OK for this critical discrepancy for two films similarly terrible, saying its OK for cinema to celebrate its guilty pleasures, but only the ones for the boys. There's nothing I can think of to explain this reaction other then sexism. I'm all for alternate suggestions.

But unfair comparative treatment aside, this film is still for the most part a piece of shit. Like too many romantic comedies these days, its plot relies way too heavily on people being stupid, and more then that, characters that are sold to us as intelligent, likable people. Ginnifer Goodwin seemingly exists to play immensely irrational characters whose immense likability whitewashes over everything. Goodwin pretty much played a sociopath in He's Just Not That Into You, yet she's just so winning you can't help but be won over. Well not this time. Goodwin does her best, but her character is so feeble there's nothing you can do but just be irritated by every decision she makes. I'll admit to enjoying Kate Hudson in this movie. I think she's quickly becoming the Matthew McConaughey of female stars, in that even though she's exclusively in terrible films, she is usually great in them anyway. Having seen two awful Hudson films this year in A Little Bit Of Heaven and now this, she's been my favorite thing about them both, a bubbly, entertaining presence in movies that otherwise exist in a quality vacuum. I guess John Krasinski's OK.

But Something Borrowed commits the romantic comedy fatal flaw, which is to thing that the male lead doesn't matter. Casting such a blank slate of a pretty boy is something this increasingly harrowed genre fails to realize kills you instantly. These films are about chemistry between two human beings, and if that's not there then it doesn't work, and a cardboard cutout can't have chemistry with anything, and Colin Egglesworth is definitely that. If you indiscriminately love romantic comedies then you'll like this but unless you are that guy then, there's just nothing down this road but pain.

Rating: 4/10

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