Monday, March 19, 2012

Book Vs. Movie: Something Borrowed

I honestly don't know why I bother with chick lit or romantic comedies anymore.  Maybe I just keep hoping that I will find another book like Austenland.  But nothing ever comes close.  Chick lit & rom-coms are almost always cliched, immoral, and annoying.  I decided to give this one a try anyway, simply because I think Ginnifer Goodwin is a great actress, and because other reviewers liked the book.  Next time I will follow my instincts and avoid books & movies like Something Borrowed.

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin tells the story of Rachel, an average, hard-working 30-year-old woman whose beautiful, superficial best friend Darcy is getting married to the seemingly perfect guy Dex.  After a night of "partying" for her birthday, Rachel ends up taking a cab home with Dex, and they sleep together.  The rest of the book centers around Rachel and Dex figuring out how they feel about each other, while also showing the development of Darcy & Rachel's friendship over the years through flashbacks. 

I didn't even bother finishing the book.  Besides the whole cheating storyline turning me completely off, the characters were two-dimensional and stereotyped.  The main character would just not stop whining about how old and miserable and alone she was; her best friend was as superficial and shallow as you could make her; and the fiance Dex was spineless and wishy-washy.  Could someone please tell me when men stopped being... men?  There is nothing attractive about a man with no backbone.  Also, the flashbacks that are supposed to show us how Darcy & Rachel became and stayed friends throughout the years were unrealistic.  There's no way these two completely different people would have remained best friends, especially considering how badly Darcy treats Rachel.  I just can't take this book seriously at all.  Perhaps if the characters hadn't been SO cliched and transparent, or if Rachel had not been such a whiny doormat, or if the guilt she and Dex supposedly felt had seemed real at any point, I might have taken the time to finish the book.  Incomplete

Something Borrowed, the movie, follows almost the same storyline except for a few changes I noticed here and there.  For one thing, Dex and Rachel were actually really into each other during college; Darcy just swooped in and "stole" Dex away.  But the two of them never stopped loving each other, even after Dex proposed to Darcy.  I suppose the screenwriters thought that if Dex and Rachel had always been in love with each other, then we'd be more forgiving and accepting of their cheating.

Throughout the whole movie, I sympathized the most with Rachel's best friend Ethan.  He pretty much said it best when he yelled at Rachel for being a whiny pain-in-the-butt who brought these problems on herself.  And I can't stand that the movie is geared towards making you think it's okay that Dex and Rachel cheated because a) Darcy cheated too so "it's only fair", and b) they all ended up happy in the end anyway.  Rachel even says to Darcy, during a chance meeting months later, that she's sorry for hurting her, but not for sleeping with Dex.  And Darcy seems okay with it because she's happy with how her life is going (she's pregnant by the guy she cheated on Dex with).  So the moral of the story seems to be that as long as everyone gets to have a happily-ever-after, it doesn't matter how they were able to achieve it.  C-

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