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Rachel, a talented attorney at a top New York law firm, a generous and loyal friend is, unhappily, still single...as her engaged best friend Darcy is constantly reminding her. But after one drink too many at her 30th birthday party, Rachel unexpectedly ends up in bed withschool, Dex, the guy she’s had a crush on since law school, who just happens to be Darcy’s fiancé. Meanwhile, Ethan, Rachel’s constant confidante and sometimes conscience, has been harboring a secret of his own, and Marcus, an irrepressible womanizer, can’t keep his mind out of the gutter or his hands off any girl within reach.
For more about Something Borrowed and the Something Borrowed Blu-ray release, see Something Borrowed Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on August 12, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.5 out of 5.
Starring: Ginnifer Goodwin, Kate Hudson, Colin Egglesfield, John Krasinski
Director: Luke Greenfield
» See full cast & crew
Something Borrowed Blu-ray Review
"I just didn't think someone like you could like someone like me..."
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, August 12, 2011
I doubt I'm the first to say it, and I'm sure I won't be the last: Something Borrowed doesn't just borrow something, it borrows everything. "Borrows" is too kind a word, actually. It pillages, plunders and razes the rom-com genre to the ground, laying claim to every idea, convention, character, plot thread, love triangle and contrived conflict that has the misfortune to stumble into director Luke Greenfield and writer Jennie Snyder Urman's path of destruction. But Greenfield and Urman fail to swipe several essentials: comedy and romance for one, some semblance of love, life, regret or happiness for another, and, really, the sort of genuine, heartfelt honesty that might make the film's ugly characters and uglier stories more attractive. The pair do take advantage of John Krasinski's brief screentime, though, making some ten minutes of the movie easier to stomach.
Something Borrowed is yet another cheaters-cheating-cheaters rom-com; a film that presents infidelity and dishonesty as windows into the heart and soul of true love. (Don't even get me started on the troubling paradox at play in most of these genre misfires. And I say "most" because Crazy, Stupid, Love oh-so-gracefully sidesteps this paradox -- embraces it, really, infidelity and all -- in one of the more touching, funny and intelligent romantic comedies in recent memory.) In Greenfield and Urman's sketchy tale, the self-centered heartbreakers include a mild-mannered attorney named Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin), her dim-witted, impulsive and promiscuous best friend Darcy (Kate Hudson, delivering perhaps her most obnoxious performance to date), Darcy's perpetually indecisive fiancé Dex (Colin Egglesfield, who bears more than a passing resemblance to a young Tom Cruise) and his egotistical, over-sexed friend, self-professed ladies' man Marcus (Steve Howley, who seems to have been yanked off the set of a completely different movie). Problems emerge early, though. One, I didn't buy into Rachel and Darcy's friendship for a second and, two, I never believed someone like Dex could ever fall for someone like Darcy. Had she been written or portrayed as anything other than an insufferable dolt... had she been anything other than a repulsive, egotistical rom-com archetype played by anyone other than Hudson, Something Borrowed might, just might have amounted to something more.
No such luck. You see, once upon a time, Rachel blew a perfect chance with Dex and all but handed him to Darcy, who snatched him up and earned a diamond ring in the process. But, of course, Rachel and Dex eventually share a passionate one-night-stand and everything comes undone. Rachel is mortified and confused about the whole thing (all the while continuing to sleep with Darcy's soon-to-be hubby) and Dex is, well, mortified and confused about the whole thing (he'd call off the wedding, he swears, but the news would send his depressed mother into an even deeper depression). No worries, Greenfield and Urman coo from behind the camera. After all, Dex has always loved Rachel, Rachel has always loved Dex, and Darcy? Darcy's an awful human being, which apparently is meant to give us permission to root for her fiancé and best friend as they sneak around behind her back, work out their feelings and ride destiny's wave to some grander future. And with that, an already ungainly, unamusing, uneven and underwhelming genre pic implodes as suddenly and startlingly as every relationship on screen. Darcy isn't a casualty, a victim or an underdog -- or much of a human being, for that matter -- and Dex and Rachel's turmoil and betrayal doesn't resonate. (Nor does the film's last ten minutes, which are meant to leave us wiping away tears and nodding our heads in silent affirmation.) Even Rachel's second-tier BFF, Ethan (John Krasinski), pushes her to fess up and be done with the games. I could go on, charting the various complications the characters face along the way, but I suspect you're starting to feel the same overwhelming sense of déjà vu that I did. Notice how quickly the film's borrowed bits and formulaic developments begin to stack up? To teeter on the edge of predictability and, worse, plausibility? To tip over and crush any hope that Rachel, Dex, Darcy or... um, Marcus will become anything more than the paper-thin romantic comedy constructs they are?
I considered fashioning a review comprised entirely of lines from other romantic comedy reviews I've written, but relented when I realized how much simpler it was to pen something original than to rehash old material, piece by piece. If only Urman -- and, more to the point, Emily Griffin, author of the 2005 book of the same name -- had realized as much. Something Borrowed tosses everything into the genre blender and prays the resulting sludge will taste as good as its best ingredients. But the film doesn't even know what it wants to be when it reaches the end credits. It tries its hand at comedy (again and again, ad nauseum), only to fall flat on its face each time with a resounding thud. It gives tear-jerking drama a shot, but can't overcome its protagonists' irritating flaws or resist dipping into the genre's moldy, well-worn bag of cheap tricks (moody downpours, melodramatic flashbacks, quivering lips, and desperate declarations, among many, many others). And it takes so many clumsy stabs at romance that the entire flick doubles over, bleeds out and coughs up the ghost without ever delivering a believable romance or relationship. (Other than Rachel and Ethan's platonic friendship that is. Together, Goodwin and Krasinski whip up enough magic to make you wonder why someone didn't scrap Griffin's story and rework the entire feature to focus on Rachel and Ethan.) There's a hint of a good movie -- a tiny glimmer of rom-com potential -- buried in Something Borrowed. But even if you manage to find that shard of what-could-have-been, you'll only be that much more disappointed with the film as it is. My advice? Steer clear of this mess.
Something Borrowed Blu-ray, Video Quality
There's not a lot to love about Something Borrowed's balmy 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer, but I suppose it's likable enough for a run-of-the-mill rom-com presentation. Charles Minsky's summer-evening palette is bolstered by savory colors, lovely skintones and inky blacks, and edge definition and texture clarity are quite respectable; reasonably revealing even. Moreover, significant artifacting, banding, aliasing and smearing are nowhere to be found, while ringing is kept to a manageable (albeit apparent) minimum. Unfortunately, the image is continually undermined by at-times overbearing contrast levels. At its worst, the result is a crippling heaviness that diminishes detail, overpowers primaries and leads to instances of severe crush. (Take note of the shots of Rachel and Marcus at the 29:20 mark. Watch as Rachel's brown hair and dark dress, the couch and its pattern, and the shadows merge into an amorphous blob. There are plenty of other examples, but no need to make a list.) Prevalent as it is, though, it's the only real distraction. Otherwise, Something Borrowed walks down the Blu-ray aisle without tripping over its own feet. Much.
Something Borrowed Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Something Borrowed stumbles more when it comes to its stocky but serviceable DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track. Granted, dialogue is clean, intelligible and smartly prioritized at all times, effects are spread nicely across the front soundstage, and cross-channel pans are quite smooth. The rear speakers even chime in from time to time, lending chummy support to Alex Wurman's score and several bursts of ambient activity. Sadly, they also fall silent far too often and for far too long. Directionality isn't convincing (or much of a factor), dynamics aren't impressive, and the soundfield is terribly front-heavy on the whole. Likewise, the LFE channel rarely exerts any force and only seems to answer when Wurman comes calling (and, even then, it pipes up just enough to get by). I have no doubt the film's uninspired sound design is the culprit, and that most of the track's shortcomings are inherent to the original mix. Still, Something Borrowed doesn't set itself apart, even on the crowded streets of New York.
Something Borrowed Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Something Borrowed should have put more extras on its bridal registry. 30-odd-minutes of special features, high definition or no, is a letdown, especially when said features are as aimless and shallow as these.
Something Borrowed Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
I know some will feel as if Something Borrowed is peering into their innermost thoughts; that it has something profound to say about love and the tragic games lovers sometimes play. But I can't for the life of me imagine what those thoughts are or what that profound utterance might be. I'm not opposed to romantic comedies... just underdeveloped, poorly written, woefully uneven, unromantic, unfunny romantic comedies. Yes, my take on the film is probably more unfavorable than most, but I wouldn't search too long for gushing reviews if I were you. They aren't out there. Warner's Blu-ray release has problems of its own. Its video transfer is solid but suffers with contrast issues, its DTS-HD Master Audio track is decent but dull, and its supplemental package amounts to a hollow half-hour. Rent it if you can, buy it if you must.
Something Borrowed: Other Editions
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Something Borrowed Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Something Borrowed Blu-ray - June 24, 2011
This summer, Warner Home Video brings the screen adaptation of author Emily Giffin's Something Borrowed to Blu-ray. Director Luke Greenfield (The Girl Next Door) directs this dramedy about a young woman (Ginnifer Goodwin, Walk the Line) who falls for the fiancé ...
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