On the other hand, Ethan is practically perfect, save for the one-night stand with Claire (Ashley Williams) that continues to haunt him. Not only is he handsome (but in a far less obvious way), but he’s funny and fiercely loyal, even when he realizes that he’ll never be anything more than Rachel’s friend. But in the world of romantic comedies that aren’t starring John Cusack, it’s not exactly glamorous to go for the good guy who’s always been there, and that’s precisely what relegates Ethan to the “just friends” zone.

What’s frustrating is that in scene after scene, Something Borrowed inevitably strikes so many uncomfortable bargains. The same was true with the novel it is based on, but author Emily Giffin did a far better job of making the characters more multi-dimensional and sympathetic, a balance that Jennie Snyder’s screenplay doesn’t achieve. Yes, there are a handful of funny one-liners, like when Ethan says “The Hamptons are like a zombie movie directed by Ralph Lauren,” but aside from those brief moments of comic relief, it’s not exactly mindless feel-good  fare.

After all, if you root for Rachel’s happiness, you’re also saying that cheating with your best friend’s fiancé is okay. Conversely, if Darcy ends up back with Dex, that feels all wrong, too, since she’s been hooking up with Marcus (Steve Howey, Bride Wars) behind his back. Basically, every romantic relationship in Something Borrowed is navigated by a wobbly moral compass. And no matter how hard you try to see things differently, you can’t help feeling relieved that what’s happening to these characters isn’t happening to you. Or at least you’d sure hope not.

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol: Lots of social drinking, plus a scene where characters smoke marijuana.
  • Language/Profanity: One f-bomb, plus a smattering of other profanity including as-, da--, he--, bit-- and an instance where God’s name is paired with da--.
  • Sex/Nudity: Crude references to male and female anatomy and sexual acts. One character pretends to be gay so an overly aggressive girl will leave him alone (their previous one-night stand is referenced a couple of times). Rachel sleeps with Dex, who happens to be engaged to her best friend Darcy, on two occasions. No nudity shown, just kissing and waking up together the next morning. Darcy later admits that she cheated on Dex with Marcus.
  • Violence: Only of a comedic nature.

Christa Banister is a full-time freelancer writer, specializing in music, movies and books-related reviews and interviews and is the author of two novels, Around the World in 80 Dates and Blessed Are the Meddlers. Based in Dallas, Texas, she also weighs in on various aspects of pop culture on her personal blog

For more information, including her upcoming book signings and sample chapters of her novels, check out her Website.