A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this romantic comedy based on a popular novel has melodramatic twists that turn into a series of lies and betrayals that are portrayed as humorous. There's especially strong language for a romcom (one "f--k" and many uses of the words "s--t," "a--hole," and more) and a lot of scenes that take place while characters get sloshed at bars. Love scenes include kissing and loud sex noises, but nothing graphic is shown. Some of the movie's messages about love and friendship are pretty iffy, and the characters are sometimes unlikeable ... but in the end, as with all romcoms, everyone winds up with "the one."
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
At her 30th birthday party, successful Manhattan attorney Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) celebrates with her glamorous, attention-stealing best friend, Darcy (Kate Hudson), who's engaged to Dex (Colin Egglesfield). In flashbacks, we learn that Dex was Rachel's law-school study partner, whom she secretly loved but allowed Darcy to flirt with anyhow. When Rachel confesses to Dex that she used to have a crush on him, the two end up spending the night together and confessing their love for each other. Afraid of the consequences, Dex hesitates to call off the wedding, while Rachel must deal with Darcy's increasingly self-absorbed demands for the wedding. Meanwhile, the girls' best mate, Ethan (John Krasinski), attempts to force Rachel to tell the truth and not let Darcy "win" for once in their decades-long relationship.
Is it any good?
This is forgettable fluff best left to the DVD queue. In his third feature film, director Luke Greenfield takes on the adaptation of Emily Giffin's best-selling chick-lit novel Something Borrowed, and while it will undoubtedly attract fans of both the book and romcom movies, it has little to offer viewers short of a few laughs and incredibly unlikeable characters. Hudson once again plays someone who's beautiful but awfully conceited, while Goodwin is typecast as the cute-but-insecure one. And as the story unfolds, it becomes increasingly clear that even Rachel isn't exactly a heroine to root for, because she's allowed her best friend to manipulate her and take her for granted for more than 20 years. What kind of best friend dates the object of her BFF's affection when she should obviously know better? And what kind of woman sleeps with her best friend's fiance, even if she is drunk and lonely?
Romantic comedies can be wonderfully enduring (When Harry Met Sally, Groundhog Day, and the classic The Philadelphia Story come to mind) but more often than not they're nothing more than an occasionally amusing excuse for a girls' night out. Perhaps in more than 300 pages, Giffin explores deeper themes about friendship and love, but in a 100-minute movie, the story is reduced to stereotypical characters (even the always-lovable Krasinski is stuck with either churlish one-liners or sugary-sweet declarations), and a dangerous message about what's acceptable and right in the name of love. Given all of its soap-opera plot twists, SOMETHING BORROWED isn't even all that lighthearted.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the movie's messages about friendship and love. Does the story justify/glamorize betrayal? Do the ends ever justify the means? What constitutes a healthy romantic relationship? A strong friendship?
Why do you think movies like these appeal more to girls and women than boys and men? Is it strange that girls are more likely to go to action movies than guys are to go to romantic comedies?
How does the movie portray drinking? Are there any realistic consequences for the characters' behavior?
- In theaters: May 6, 2011
- On DVD or streaming: August 16, 2011
- Cast: Colin Egglesfield, Ginnifer Goodwin, John Krasinski, Kate Hudson
- Director: Luke Greenfield
- Studio: Warner Bros.
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 103 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sexual content including dialogue, and some drug material
For kids who love romance and comedy
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.