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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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Catherine of Siena: The value Catherine makes central in her short life and which sounds clearly and consistently through her experience is complete surrender to Christ. What is most impressive about her is that she learns to view her surrender to her Lord as a goal to be reached through time. 
<p>She was the 23rd child of Jacopo and Lapa Benincasa and grew up as an intelligent, cheerful and intensely religious person. Catherine disappointed her mother by cutting off her hair as a protest against being overly encouraged to improve her appearance in order to attract a husband. Her father ordered her to be left in peace, and she was given a room of her own for prayer and meditation. </p><p>She entered the Dominican Third Order at 18 and spent the next three years in seclusion, prayer and austerity. Gradually a group of followers gathered around her—men and women, priests and religious. An active public apostolate grew out of her contemplative life. Her letters, mostly for spiritual instruction and encouragement of her followers, began to take more and more note of public affairs. Opposition and slander resulted from her mixing fearlessly with the world and speaking with the candor and authority of one completely committed to Christ. She was cleared of all charges at the Dominican General Chapter of 1374. </p><p>Her public influence reached great heights because of her evident holiness, her membership in the Dominican Third Order, and the deep impression she made on the pope. She worked tirelessly for the crusade against the Turks and for peace between Florence and the pope </p><p>In 1378, the Great Schism began, splitting the allegiance of Christendom between two, then three, popes and putting even saints on opposing sides. Catherine spent the last two years of her life in Rome, in prayer and pleading on behalf of the cause of Urban VI and the unity of the Church. She offered herself as a victim for the Church in its agony. She died surrounded by her "children" and was canonized in 1461. </p><p>Catherine ranks high among the mystics and spiritual writers of the Church. In 1939, she and Francis of Assisi were declared co-patrons of Italy. Paul VI named her and Teresa of Avila doctors of the Church in 1970. Her spiritual testament is found in <i>The Dialogue</i>.</p> American Catholic Blog The gates of hell cannot withstand the power of heaven. Gates of sin melt in the presence of saving grace; gates of death fall in the presence of eternal life; gates of falsehood collapse in the presence of living truth; gates of violence are flattened in the presence of divine love. These are the tools with which Christ has equipped his Church.

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