More noise than signal

Something Borrowed

This review has been ‘repurposed’ from my other site,

Hmm. A chick-lit based romcom. You can, perhaps, guess that this was not my choice of film on the trip to the cinema, especially with a perfectly good Takashii Miike film running next door.

Rachel White (Ginnifer Goodwin) is a lawyer, recently turned thirty and plagued with the insecurities of a single thirtysomething that all single thirtysomethings have in romcoms. Biological clock, left on the shelf, yadda yadda yadda. She’s acting as maid of honour for her best friend Darcy (Kate Hudson), although it’s complicated somewhat by Rachel’s long-standing attraction to Darcy’s fiancee Dex (Colin Egglesfield).

I don’t think there’s any point going any further into the plot. Suffice to say that there are precisely no deviations to the way you would expect this to go, based on having seen any romcom at all in the past.

This sort of movie is going to live or die by the characters and their interactions, and Something Borrowed quickly flatlines. The actors are doing a reasonable enough job, but the script calls for an unsustainable level of suspension of disbelief regarding the characters personalities and their relationships. Darcy is supposed to be ‘fun’ and ‘lively’; she’s actually insufferably annoying, egotistical and there seems to be only the very slenderest of chances she’d ever be able to form lasting relationships with either of the more staid, sensible types of Dex and Rachel.

Those two don’t pass the sniff test either, both oscillating between impossibly perfect and ridiculously impassive, neither being sympathetic. The only remotely likable character is played by The Office‘s John Krasinski, and that only because as the film lumbers towards its final act he’s the only one calling people out on how pathetic they’re being.

Mechanically it’s clunky, with one of the least subtle establishing shots of London outside of recent Woody Allen films as it shows Big Ben, then Parliament, then Tower Bridge, then the London Eye, in a way that suggests that the second unit just wanted a sightseeing tour.

The absolute best I can say about the film is that it’s so massively generic and so studiously avoids any hint of controversy, or individuality, or anything that would give this a voice of its own, that it’s generally bland and inoffensive rather than downright unpleasant. Ah, the banality of evil.

However, it’s the films’ very bland inoffensiveness that annoys me the most about it. It’s the strident attempts to avoid sticking it’s head above the parapet in any respect in its attempts to avoid provoking any negative reaction that provokes my negative reaction.

It’s a film that does nothing, and says nothing, and therefore means nothing. It’s a film that’s only ambition is to exist for two hours during date night, and that’s the most offensive think of all. In a cinematic landscape that’s crying out for innovation, for anything remotely new, Something Borrowed, perhaps fittingly enough, provides nothing new, and everything borrowed from the ghosts of previous film that also had nothing new to say.

So, y’know, not recommended.