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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Something Borrowed

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service


Colin Egglesfield and Kate Hudson star in the romantic comedy "Something Borrowed."
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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Josephine Bakhita: For many years, Josephine Bakhita was a slave but her spirit was always free and eventually that spirit prevailed. 
<p>Born in Olgossa in the Darfur region of southern Sudan, Josephine was kidnapped at the age of seven, sold into slavery and given the name Bakhita, which means <i>fortunate</i>. She was re-sold several times, finally in 1883 to Callisto Legnani, Italian consul in Khartoum, Sudan. </p><p>Two years later he took Josephine to Italy and gave her to his friend Augusto Michieli. Bakhita became babysitter to Mimmina Michieli, whom she accompanied to Venice's Institute of the Catechumens, run by the Canossian Sisters. While Mimmina was being instructed, Josephine felt drawn to the Catholic Church. She was baptized and confirmed in 1890, taking the name Josephine. </p><p>When the Michielis returned from Africa and wanted to take Mimmina and Josephine back with them, the future saint refused to go. During the ensuing court case, the Canossian sisters and the patriarch of Venice intervened on Josephine's behalf. The judge concluded that since slavery was illegal in Italy, she had actually been free since 1885. </p><p>Josephine entered the Institute of St. Magdalene of Canossa in 1893 and made her profession three years later. In 1902, she was transferred to the city of Schio (northeast of Verona), where she assisted her religious community through cooking, sewing, embroidery and welcoming visitors at the door. She soon became well loved by the children attending the sisters' school and the local citizens. She once said, "Be good, love the Lord, pray for those who do not know Him. What a great grace it is to know God!" </p><p>The first steps toward her beatification began in 1959. She was beatified in 1992 and canonized eight years later.</p> American Catholic Blog St. Paul talks about the Christian life as a race, and encourages us to run so as to win. So it’s not just OK, it’s commanded to be competitive, to strive to excel. But true greatness consists in sharing in the sacrificial love of Christ, who comes to serve rather than to be served. That means that this race St. Paul is talking about is a race to the bottom.

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