Kathy Benson Reviews: Something Borrowed (Movie)

Something Borrowed Movie Poster

Something Borrowed screenplay by Emily Synder, based on the novel by Emily Giffin, and directed by Luke Greenfield.

On Christmas night in 2012, after many wonderful and somewhat stressful days of celebrating the holidays with family and friends, my husband and I tucked our children into bed and then sat down to relax on the couch in our family room. He suggested we watch the beginning of a movie that he had watched the end of recently on cable. My husband often flips channels and ends up watching movies at whatever point they are at, some of which he has seen before and many he has not. When he finds one interesting, he will set our DVR to record it in full at a later time and then invite me to watch it with him from start to finish.

The movie was Something Borrowed (May 2011). It begins with one of the main characters Rachel, a pretty, kind and down-to-earth attorney, played by Ginnifer Goodwin, arriving at her surprise 30th birthday party. Rachel’s life-long best friend, Darcy (Kate Hudson), a glamorous and outgoing publicist, with a big ego, threw the party for her. We soon find out that Darcy is engaged to marry Dex, also an attorney, played by Colin Egglesfield, who reminds me of a young and equally handsome Tom Cruise. During the celebration we also learn that Rachel and Dex met and became friends in law school, which led to Dex being introduced to Darcy.

Later that evening, after many cocktails, the birthday girl ends up alone with Dex and admits to having a crush on him when they were in school together. Rachel thought that surely Dex knew that, but it becomes clear he didn’t. She also soon discovers that Dex felt the same way about her. As you can imagine after such a revelation, from there the movie gets more interesting and complicated.

It didn’t take me long to buy into the storyline of Something Borrowed because in many ways I am like Rachel. As I watched the movie I flashed back to times in my life when I let a guy get away who showed genuine interest in me, but for some reason I didn’t feel the same way or at least didn’t want to admit if I did. I also recalled times when I had feelings for someone and never had the nerve to tell them, even when I sensed they might feel the same way. I realize these scenarios are not uncommon, hence the appeal of a movie/book with this premise.

My husband and I are happily married, however movies like this often get me thinking, “what if?” Not in an “I would actually act on it” kind of way, rather the “things that make you go hmmm” way.  My husband knows this, loves me anyway and even indulges me in conversations about this topic and how I sometimes fantasize about parallel lives that include me having do-overs with a few guys from my past.

Though Something Borrowed was not on my radar when it was in theaters in 2011, I have recently read that the movie did not get many positive reviews. I find this interesting and surprising because I loved it. I wanted to watch it again right away and did within the next week. It has been awhile since I wanted to watch a movie like this over and over again, but there is just something about the story, the way it was written and the actors’ chemistry that captivates me.

You know you are a writer, or at least appreciate good writing, when you finish watching an entertaining romantic comedy and one of your first thoughts is to want to find out who wrote it and what else they may have written. I discovered that the novel’s author is Emily Giffin and that she has written more books, including a sequel to Something Barrowed called Something Blue. Something Blue continues to tell the story of what happens with Darcy and Ethan, another likeable and quirky character in Something Borrowed played by John Krasinski, who grew up with Rachel and Darcy and remained friends with them into adulthood.

Finding out about Emily Giffin and her books makes me what to go buy and download them all to my Kindle, in the same way I want watch anything the producers/writers of Thirtysomething, My So Called Life and Once and Again have their hands in. I was on Facebook recently and one of my favorite writers, Melissa Ford asked readers on her author page what they were reading at the time. She mentioned that she was reading Emily Giffin’s latest book! Knowing she likes to read Emily Giffin peaked my interest even more.

This movie doesn’t directly relate to the experience of dealing with infertility and loss, though there is a brief pregnancy storyline. But I do think it speaks to how we deal with unexpected events and the relationships we have with loved ones in our lives. Life rarely goes exactly as we plan and Something Borrowed gives many of its main characters second chances, including opportunities to try to make peace with what may have happened in the past. Being a part of the Adoption/Loss/Infertility (ALI) community I know first hand what it means to live with many “what ifs” about how my life could or would be different, especially if our journey trying to build our family had played out another way. I think it is common for those in the ALI community to daydream like this.

One of my takeaways from Something Borrowed is to remember the importance of trying to make peace with the choices we make in our lives, knowing that we do our best to be true to ourselves with the information we have at the time. I highly recommend this movie and would love to know what you think if you have seen it or decide to check it out after reading this review.

Author Bio:

Kathy Benson is Exhale’s Contributing Editor. Kathy is a Domestic Engineer with three children (two here and one in Heaven) trying to live mindfully and find joy in the journey after dealing with secondary infertility and pregnancy loss for over five years. She blogs at Bereaved and Blessed and you can follow her on Twitter @BereavedBlessed

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  1. Great review. I too missed this movie when it was in the theater and I think I need to watch it now. I love Ginnifer Godwin.

  2. I loved the movie, too! My husband, who rarely likes those kind of movies, started watching it and then called up that I might like it, so we started it over and watched it together.

    I thought it was original, because it was actually suspenseful. You don’t know who will end up with who, and I thought the ending was genuinely surprising. My husband and I ended up liking the Kate Hudson character a lot: she was just different than someone you’d see in the movies: a golden girl, but broken and lost in a real way.

    I was surprised by the reviews too. Mostly, because I usually agree with reviewers. Not in this case. Thanks for reminding me of this movie.

  3. Sounds like a fun movie! My husband refuses to watch these kinds of movies with me, and since I don’t usually watch movies alone I’m not likely to end up seeing it, but the storyline reminds me a bit of _Sliding Doors_ … looking at the other side of what may have been. I keep coming back to making peace with my choices … because the alternative is living a tortured life. Thanks for posting this!

  4. I remember hearing about that movie when it came out, but we rarely get to them in theaters. Sounds like one I would like, based especially on the takeaway you mentioned.

    Oh, how I love thirtysomething….sigh…

  5. I haven’t seen the film, but I do know the challenges of making peace with a life far from the one I worked so hard to create. The older I get the more I’ve come to appreciate how important it is to let go of what might have been and to embrace what is.


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