Something Borrowed

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Something Borrowed Movie Poster Image
Soap-operaish romcom is full of mature twists, betrayals.
  • PG-13
  • 2011
  • 103 minutes

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 11 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Many of the messages in this movie are questionable: that it's not as bad to cheat if one party isn't married yet, that best friends should be willing to sacrifice everything at every moment for their friend, that it's OK to lie about being gay so someone will stop hitting on you, that love justifies betrayal. Even if everyone winds up happy at the end of the movie, their choices throughout make the messages slightly confusing.

Positive Role Models & Representations

None of the main characters is a positive role model. Darcy is self-absorbed, anti-intellectual, and conceited. Dex, despite having admitted his true feelings, refuses to change his situation out of fear of disappointing his parents. And Rachel allows Darcy to call the shots in their friendship and doesn't assert her own feelings. Characters are deceitful and betray each other.

Violence

A character hits her friend in the nose with a badminton racket; a woman slaps an aggressively flirtatious man.

Sex

Couples make out and are then shown bare-shouldered in bed with a sheet covering them. In one scene, a couple makes love really loudly, and an entire house of people can hear them (viewers don't see anything). A woman comes on very aggressively to an uninterested guy who pretends to be gay to escape her advances (he touches another man's bottom and caresses him for her benefit). A womanizing man hits on many women and is sometimes slapped in the face. The girlfriends discuss whether a man is circumcised or not.

Language

Heavier language than in some comparable romcoms, including one "f--k," several uses of "s--t," and "s--t head," plus "bitch," "ass," "ass face," "prick," "a--hole," "dick," "crap," "damn," "oh my God," "goddamn," "hell," "stupid," and more.

Consumerism

Darcy sports two prominently shown Chanel purses, and BlackBerrys get a close-up. Other brands include Heineken, Diet Pepsi and Land Rover, and the New York City restaurant Shake Shack is shown several times.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The characters spend a lot of time at bars drinking and getting drunk (shots, champagne, wine, cocktails, vodka, and more). In one scene a guy asks Rachel to share a joint, and she eventually agrees.

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."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bysnowden249 September 16, 2011

The F word is spoken

How can PG13 have an F word in it? Even if it is only once.
Adult Written bycmadeley May 18, 2011

Since when is it okay to cheat?

While this movie is decent as romantic comedies go, its characters are essentialy flawed. The filmakers are asking us to buy into a story and indentify with the... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old August 31, 2012

I love this!!!

I love this, but not good role models. I'm a bit sensitive and when I was watching this with my Mom there was a scene where the main character was watching... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byluvpink December 26, 2011

Disapointed

Too much sexual content and too much drinking I was extremely disapointed.

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?

Movie details

For kids who love romance and comedy

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