By Pamela Zoslov
One of my favorite childhood pastimes was playing a board game called “Barbie, Queen of the Prom.” The object was to get to the prom first, with the prettiest dress and the handsomest date. We girls would roll the dice to win one of four boyfriends, the most desirable of whom was Ken, a perfect, chiseled WASP of a fellow, on whose arm we would presumably spark the envy of all the other girls. Honestly, readers, this game and its questionable values messed me up for years.
I was reminded of this while watching Something Borrowed, a romantic comedy in which two women compete for the love of a man named Dex, played by the impossibly good-looking Colin Egglesfield, late of Melrose Place and All My Children. Aside from being a nice guy who will lend a law school classmate his only pen, Dex’s chief virtue is his underwear-model handsomeness. He is also alarmingly passive, an object tossed about by two women and his parents, a helpless cork bobbing about in a sea of other people’s desires.
The movie is directed by Luke Greenfield and based on a best-selling novel by Emily Giffin, one of those lightweight, pink-covered books popularly classified as “chick lit.” It is clearly aimed at women who came of age in the ’80s, sprinkled as it is with references to such cultural talismans as Who’s The Boss and Growing Pains. The novel is narrated by Rachel, an associate at a
The movie version of this story emphasizes its shallowest elements – the romance, the bridal gowns, the Chanel handbags, the shoes, the weekends in the
None of these details would matter if the movie were funnier, but Jennie Snyder’s wit-challenged screenplay leaves the capable cast, which also includes John Krasinski as Ethan, Rachel’s confidante and secret admirer and Steve Howey as Marcus, a goofy womanizer who pursues both Rachel and Darcy, reciting lines that are supposed to be amusing but aren’t. It doesn’t help that the leading characters are so lacking in charisma. Goodwin, something of a specialist in lovelorn single-girl roles (He’s Just Not That Into You), is mannered and annoying, and
The success of a romantic comedy depends largely on good writing and likeable characters, whose fate the audience needs to care about. This entry falls short in both areas, with flaccid pacing that makes it seem even longer than its 110-minute running time. It is not without its virtues, including pretty people and