Before debiting themselves a dozen dollars to take in "Something Borrowed" (Warner Bros.), viewers of faith, or just of sense, would be well-advised to remember Polonius' famous advice to his son Laertes in Shakespeare's "Hamlet": "Neither a borrower nor a lender be."
That admonition applies in spades to the heroine of this morally messy romantic comedy—professionally successful but perpetually single New York lawyer Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin)—given that what she appropriates, early on in the proceedings, is nothing less than her best friend Darcy's (Kate Hudson) fiance Dex (Colin Egglesfield).
Indeed, wholly undeterred by the pleasant alliteration of the prospective couple's first names, Rachel impetuously jumps into the sack with Dex, thereby kicking off all manner of triangular complications.
Naturally, there are mitigating circumstances surrounding Rachel's perfidy. To begin with, despite the fact that she and Rachel have been the warmest of chums since childhood, Darcy is insufferably shallow and self-absorbed. And her favorite form of recreation seems to be putting mousy, long-suffering Rachel in her place.
Rachel, moreover—as we're shown via flashbacks—has loved Dex secretly since they were in law school together way back in about 2005. But their budding romance was squelched the first time Darcy came on the scene and, true to form, stole the spotlight of Dex's attention and affections.
Rachel, it seems, regarded dreamy Dex as out of her league, while Dex was too tongue-tied to express his preference for one pal over the other.
As, under the direction of Luke Greenfield, these pampered characters agonize about their problems during summer weekends in the Hamptons—things reach a crisis during a beachside game of badminton—it's hard not to become exasperated by their shared inability to speak an honest word to one another or to steer clear of one another's beds.
A modicum of pleasant humor is delivered by John Krasinski (TV's "The Office") in the role of another of Rachel's amigos, Ethan. But his Greek chorus-like denunciations of both Darcy and Dex—though accurate and amusing—only highlight the glaring inconsistencies of motivation in Jennie Snyder Urman's poorly thought-out script.
Why, short of emotional masochism, does Rachel feel any loyalty at all to Darcy? And why doesn't Dex simply put the brakes on what is obviously going to be a disastrous marriage for both partners? Ah, the mysteries of the rich and inarticulate.
The film contains skewed values, considerable sexual content—including cohabitation, premarital situations and brief partial nudity—implied drug use, a few instances of profanity and of rough language and about a dozen crude terms. The Catholic News Service classification is L—limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13—parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
John Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.
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