12 May 2011


Not since Vampires Suck has there been such a momentously shit film as to prompt a Lolcats style banner to the effect of "FUCK THIS MOVIE". This is a film that slightly deviates from the predictable romantic comedy formula but in all of the wrong directions. A film that is a torturous and toxic viewing experience. A film that happens to star Kate Hudson. This is the neutron bomb, folks- this is Something Borrowed.

The premise itself is not entirely uninteresting. Two best friends, Rachel and Darcy, are in love with the same bloke, Dex. Dex and Rachel were study buds, and had a painfully shy mutual affection for one another all through law school. He ended up engaged to Darcy, and after a drunken surprise birthday party, Rachel winds up sleeping with Dex. Interested? Here's where they go wrong.

The principal character trait in this one, often despicably brought forward as a virtue rather than a foible, is cowardice. Dex is too cowardly to break off his engagement and go for Rachel, and Rachel is cowardly to a cartoonish degree, to the point where the entire message of the film is that she should think about herself rather than thinking of others. Isn't that almost like a Russian reversal of most romantic comedy plots?

If you haven't gathered from my strident hatred for the film so far, it's another of those romantic comedies that's neither romantic nor funny. Best typified by the recent oeuvre of Allan Loeb, the principal flaw in the mainstream genre is that characters won't communicate with one another. Nobody simply comes out and suggests that talking like grown-ups might be a more desirable course of action. Something Borrowed represents a film in which that problem is lampshaded and yet still never addressed.

That, to me, is even worse. The film is not simply being inept- it revels in its ineptitude and the immaturity of its characters. It's also a film that has even less faith in its own central conceit than the audience will. By Rachel's inaction, you might think her best friend would be the more sympathetic character, but the film goes to pains to practically portray Darcy as a supervillain. She's obnoxious, boorish and twatty, and in its own way, that makes Kate Hudson's performance quite a success.

Ginnifer Goodwin is a likeable enough actress, but there's only so much you can do with a heroine of such inaction, and she fails to even do much of that. Many fans of the perpetually vanilla John Krasinski have this down on their to-watch list. He's similarly afflicted as the Gay Best Friend, mired in further inaction by the fact that his character is heterosexual. Furthermore, he's another unlikeable bumbag who represses everything rather than putting it out where it might be less painful to watch. At one point he tells an old flame, who is demonised for weak comic effect, that he's gay rather than simply say he's not into her.

None of this is funny. None of it is clever. Some of it is just insanely offensive, actually. It spends so much of its 111 minutes consoling itself that it's not a film about unlikeable characters prolonging their own agony that it doesn't notice how it's a film about unlikeable characters prolonging their own agony, and the audience's agony. It's another film in which moneyed arseholes superficially hash out their problems as though they're insecure teenagers. In a film that principally features moneyed fucknuts hashing out their problems in a state of utter self-absorption, and the supposedly sympathetic Rachel's whole character arc is to make her more selfish, what the hell is there to care about?

Does anybody actually like Kate Hudson? Her fanbase must be concealed and I fear they may strike at any moment like stupid ninjas, because it's on her name that Something Borrowed is sold. So I spit on her name, for inflicting any part of this emotionally infantile, self-absorbed, self-consolatory twatastrophe upon the planet. It is, finally, a romantic comedy that doesn't end the way you'd expect, but at what cost? The actual ending is not surprising so much as unbelievably crass and unconsidered, just like the rest of it. If cinema sinks lower this year, I'm quitting.

Something Borrowed is now showing in cinemas nationwide- don't you give it a fucking penny.
If you've seen Something Borrowed, why not share your comments below? Oh, and speaking of Vampires Suck, guess what? As if this week couldn't get any worse, this happens...

I'm Mark the mad prophet, and until next time, don't watch anything I wouldn't watch.

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