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Movie Review

Darcy, Rachel and Ethan are friends with vastly different personalities. In fact, we didn't know until now that "opposite" could go in three different directions.

Pleasure-seeker Darcy throws wild parties for others—then makes herself the center of them. Her hobbies are getting drunk and dancing on bars. Novelist Ethan is sarcastic, analytical and the wisest of the bunch. Though we cringe as we write that. Rachel? Well, she's the shyest and the most loyal. And you should cringe as you read that.

Because now we must introduce Dex to the mix. Rachel and the universally gorgeous Dex first met about seven years ago in law school. And as the two became best study buddies he tried to show her how smitten he was. But always one to miss a hint and emotionally pummel herself, the equally love-struck Rachel thought the heartthrob was out of her league. So her self-conscious walls repelled his subtle advances like armored tanks deflect small-arms fire.

And then Darcy met Dex.

More accurately, she leapt on him lioness style as Rachel stuffed her feelings, smiled and allowed it—as always.

Now it's time for a wedding, and we can assure you it's not between Rachel and Dex. But as Darcy's plans unfold, Dex and Rachel unexpectedly realize what they should have realized those many years earlier. In other words, they sleep together.

Ethan, you should know, spends his time these days secretly pining for Rachel. And Dex's buddy Marcus has his eye on Rachel … and Darcy. Well, Marcus has his eye on every girl who dares to be in the same room.

We don't have to tell you that this is a Kate Hudson romcom for you to realize that this situation is going to get very, very sticky.

Based on a book series by chick lit magnate Emily Giffin, Something Borrowed presents what have been described as "flawed characters." And you won't have to read very much more before you wholeheartedly agree.

Positive Elements

Both Dex and Rachel have lived their lives according to what other people want, not by their own compasses, or even their own passions. The two gradually learn that they have the right to make their own decisions, and they finally choose to live the lives they want, not the lives they "should." (This, sadly, prompts them to makes some seriously sinful decisions, but at least the idea can be good.)

Spiritual Content

Ethan quasi-jokes that Dex and Rachel are both already going to hell for their actions—so Rachel might as well make the most of it and do something that'll make her happy.

Sexual Content

Impetuous and drunk, Rachel and Dex (who is engaged to Rachel's best friend, remember) make out in the back of a cab almost immediately after she confesses her law school crush on him. They wake up naked in her bed the next day, private body parts strategically covered by sheets as they guiltily scramble out when the phone rings. They don't feel guilty enough, though. Days later they make out again as he lies on top of her, and they wake up together in bed again at least once.

At a beach house party, Darcy is heard moaning loudly while having sex with Dex. And Dex continues to have sex with both Rachel and Darcy (separately) for a time.

Partiers watch a movie in which two girls kiss each other to turn on a guy. (We see the TV.) To make Dex as jealous of her as she is of him and Darcy, Rachel dances with Marcus, bumping and grinding in highly sexualized moves. She improvises a seductive "pole" dance down his leg—and Darcy joins her to make it a threesome.

We learn that Ethan had sex with Claire, one of Darcy's bridesmaids. And now she's looking for love—annoying him in the process. Identifying with her predicament, Rachel lashes out at Ethan, saying, "She's just a perfectly normal woman who made the grave mistake of thinking some man wanted her when all he really wanted was sex." Wearing lingerie, Claire comes to Ethan's room to try to sleep with him. Ethan responds by lying about being gay. He even kisses Marcus to "prove" it. Claire then takes up gay causes to show her support.

Crude sexual motions stand in for verbal questions about a couple's "status." There's talk about sexual pleasure, masturbation, porn, genitalia and erectile dysfunction. Being able to identify whether a man is circumcised or not turns into code for whether a woman has slept with him. Multiple song lyrics hint at sexual hookups. Women wear low-cut and/or backless tops and very short dresses. A large, framed photograph of Darcy shows her posing nude in poster-pinup mode.

Violent Content

Rachel purposely clocks Ethan with a badminton racquet when he's about to spill the beans to Darcy. He's knocked backward onto the beach, and he claims his nose is broken. Bloodily brutal clips from the movie Basic Instinct are seen briefly, showing a woman being stabbed, drowned and shot. Claire throws down a wineglass, shattering it.

Crude or Profane Language

Something borrowed … something blue. One prominent f-word and almost 10 s-words comingle with a handful of abuses of Jesus' name. God's is misused around 40, once with "d‑‑n." Other language includes "a‑‑," "h‑‑‑" and "d‑‑k."

Drug and Alcohol Content

Alcohol is consumed in so many scenes it should be considered a character and given credit in the cast list. Few negative consequences accompany its depiction. Darcy is apt to get tipsy, make a spectacle of herself and be carried home—and she and others seem to be just fine with that. A round or two of shots is ordered during a party, and all guests drink up eagerly.

Rachel initially declines but then accepts a joint from Marcus. Why? She wants to zone out (read: self-medicate) and avoid watching Dex flirt with Darcy.

Other Negative Elements

Characters lie repeatedly to get or stay out of trouble. Darcy callously and harshly dictates to Rachel what she can and cannot do. She also stands Rachel up at least once. Ethan and Rachel realize that she's probably lied for years about being accepted to Notre Dame, since their friend's obsession with appearances is much greater than her dedication to getting good grades was. Ethan frequently belittles Claire behind her back.


Something Borrowed borrows heavily from a culture that prizes feelings over values, lust over love, dishonest diversions over truthful straightforwardness, drunkenness over a sober assessment of life. Producer Molly Mickler Smith told Trailer Addict, "I don't think you've seen a romantic comedy told like this, where you're rooting for your protagonist who's essentially doing something wrong."

That's not true, actually. But only insomuch as we're talking about not having seen other romantic comedies in which primary characters take the low road instead of the high. We've seen plenty of those. Smith's protagonist is indeed doing something wrong. And she never comes to grips with it either. Found out and facing her wounded and betrayed friend, Rachel says she's sorry.

Darcy: "You're sorry you slept with my fiancé?"

Rachel: "No. I'm sorry I hurt you."

She never realizes that the two are one in the same. She never realizes that a man who can alternately sleep with two women before marriage can just as easily sleep with other women after marriage. She never realizes. She never realizes.

And yet throngs of romcom fans will leave theaters feeling all gooey about Rachel finally fulfilling her fantasies, finally bagging her boy, finally following her heart.

We mentioned this already, but it bears repeating: When Ethan tells Rachel that she might as well shrug and make the most of things since she's already crossed the line, what he's really doing is summing up Something Borrowed.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

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Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range



Ginnifer Goodwin as Rachel; Kate Hudson as Darcy; Colin Egglesfield as Dex; John Krasinski as Ethan; Steve Howey as Marcus; Ashley Williams as Claire


Luke Greenfield ( )


Warner Bros.



Record Label



In Theaters

May 6, 2011

On Video

August 16, 2011

Year Published



Meredith WhitmoreSteven Isaac

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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