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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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Augustine of Canterbury: In the year 596, some 40 monks set out from Rome to evangelize the Anglo-Saxons in England. Leading the group was Augustine, the prior of their monastery in Rome. Hardly had he and his men reached Gaul (France) when they heard stories of the ferocity of the Anglo-Saxons and of the treacherous waters of the English Channel. Augustine returned to Rome and to the pope who had sent them—St. Gregory the Great (September 3 )—only to be assured by him that their fears were groundless. 
<p>Augustine again set out. This time the group crossed the English Channel and landed in the territory of Kent, ruled by King Ethelbert, a pagan married to a Christian, Bertha. Ethelbert received them kindly, set up a residence for them in Canterbury and within the year, on Pentecost Sunday, 597, was himself baptized. After being consecrated a bishop in France, Augustine returned to Canterbury, where he founded his see. He constructed a church and monastery near where the present cathedral, begun in 1070, now stands. As the faith spread, additional sees were established at London and Rochester. </p><p>Work was sometimes slow and Augustine did not always meet with success. Attempts to reconcile the Anglo-Saxon Christians with the original Briton Christians (who had been driven into western England by Anglo-Saxon invaders) ended in dismal failure. Augustine failed to convince the Britons to give up certain Celtic customs at variance with Rome and to forget their bitterness, helping him evangelize their Anglo-Saxon conquerors </p><p>Laboring patiently, Augustine wisely heeded the missionary principles—quite enlightened for the times—suggested by Pope Gregory the Great: purify rather than destroy pagan temples and customs; let pagan rites and festivals be transformed into Christian feasts; retain local customs as far as possible. The limited success Augustine achieved in England before his death in 605, a short eight years after he arrived in England, would eventually bear fruit long after in the conversion of England. Augustine of Canterbury can truly be called the “Apostle of England.”</p> American Catholic Blog A hero isn’t someone born with unconquerable strength and selflessness. Heroes are not formed in a cataclysmic instant. Heroism is developed over time, one decision after another, moment by moment, formed by a deliberate, chosen, and habitual response to life.

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