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Day 288: Friend or Ho?


Taking a break from our project, I opted to not be all LA and join Brett at the gym. Instead, I indulged in spreading out on the couch Jabba the Hutt style to watch one of the many movies offered on his 600 channel cable box. Having lived in France for years with limited television options, this was an absolute treat. Picking a movie was a tough call though, the choices were endless. I narrowed it down to either Black Swan, Midnight in Paris, Kill John Tucker, Deliver Us From Eva, Wayne's World (1 and/or 2), and Something Borrowed

I wanted to choose a movie that I could doze off to, so I went for Something Borrowed, a film that I knew nothing about other than the fact that it was adapted from a best-selling "Women's Literature" (Brett told me that the category chick-lit doesn't exist anymore, how sad) novel. I assumed it was about a bride facing challenges before her wedding day who has her best friend (whom I presumed gives her "something borrowed") by her side as she enters the next phase of her life; marriage. For those of you who have seen the movie or read the book are probably laughing right now. I couldn't have been more wrong.

So what is this gem of a story about? I'll tell you. Enter Rachel, the meek brunette who has been overshadowed her entire life by her best friend; the outgoing, effervescent blonde, Darcy, played by Kate Hudson. The men, who typically in RomComs are just moving furniture were actually involved characters with a pulse. In this film, we have several men, we have Dex, Darcy's fiancé and two guy friends Ethan (played by John Krasinski) and Marcus. Seems like a harmless formula, right? Five friends involved and relishing in the happiness of their best friends' wedding. Not so much. In Something Borrowed, Rachel is having an emotional and consummated affair with Dex, Darcy's fiancé.

Wasn't expecting that, but okay...

So we're supposed to hate Rachel for lying to her childhood best friend and sleeping with the man she is about to marry, right? Not quite, we're actually supposed to be rooting for this underdog because she has been stuffed in the background her entire life, while her brazen best friend took center stage, "taking everything from her".

Oh well in that case, I suppose that makes it alright...

Seriously?

The film didn't even try to justify the betrayal by portraying Darcy as an unbearable chick (like she apparently was in the novel) that we as an audience never liked anyway. Was she self-involved, obnoxious and vapid? Sure, but this still doesn't legitimize Rachel's treachery, sorry. As the affair gets more complicated between Rachel and Dex, at one point Rachel snaps at him, saying that she can't stand seeing him with "her". Oh please. Her? You mean his future wife and your best friend? And then there's Ethan (played by John Krasinski, whom I normally adore) who encourages this dishonest behavior by telling Rachel to stick up for herself, and go get her man.

What planet are these characters from? Geez, with friends like these who needs enemies?  

Having had several frenemies in my life, who I had found out after the fact were hurting me behind my back, I have zero tolerance for stories like these. You're supposed to be able to trust your girlfriends and if you think one is unbearable and selfish, instead of sleeping with her man, how about break the friendship with her and move on. That's the beauty of friendships, you choose them!

I understand that the story is aimed to be realistic because let's face it, this sort of thing does happen, but I guess I was waiting for there to be an exception, a gray area that would advocate the betrayal which normally comes in the form of persuading the audience to dislike the woman being deceived (think Parker Posey's character in You've Got Mail) or that it was never going to work out between the couple anyway. Oh wait, I'm sorry there was an attempt to rid the guilt by wrapping it up a neat little package that Darcy too was having an affair with Marcus and is now - wait for it - pregnant with their love child!

How insulting to the audience. Now we're supposed to be relieved that this all happened for a reason and everyone goes their own way and can laugh about it years later over white wine spritzers.

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not laughing.

There are plenty of films that I've appreciated that touch on, if not are based on infidelities (e.g, Woody Allen's Euro films, Fatal Attraction, etc..) but a movie that is clearly marketed as a Romantic Comedy complete with a promo poster that replaces the 'o' in the film's title with a floating engagement ring, turns out to be a film about an insecure, backstabbing snake of a best friend plotting to steal your fiancé was completely unexpected.

What do you ladies think? Am I missing an obvious point portrayed in this "fine" film, that feelings are facts that need to be acted on? And that friendship is fleeting if there is a cute guy involved? I feel like I'm missing something here and am clearly deeply disturbed by the terrible example that this film is setting,

I really should have watched Deliver Us From Eva.

18 comments:

  1. I haven't seen it, but i think I'd be with you on that. Everyone seemed to love The Spanish Apartment, but the lengths they went to to cover up one guy's cheating annoyed me. Yeah, I get it, long-distance relationships, it's not the best, but things happen. But I hated that he didn't have the balls to just break up with her and that all his friends pitched in a really over-the-top way to hide it from her was sucky. (I get not selling out your friends, but it was excessive, from what I recall - it's been like 5 years since I saw it.)

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    1. Oh yeah, that scene annoyed me too! Even though I too love that movie. It's like, just be honest!

      Like "Dex" in Something Borrowed. There's one scene where he shows up at Rachel's house to tell her that he wants to be with her on the night of his fiancee's bachelorette party. So on top of being a jerk, he's was an idiot for not assuming that his fiancee would be crashing at her "best friend's" house the night of her party.

      I don't recommend that you see this movie. It will infuriate you.

      Sometimes I shudder to think what MF was doing behind my back. I knew he was up to no good and movies like this confirm my at the time fears.

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  2. Don't get me started! I guess I'm too old fashioned to enjoy some supposed romantic comedies. This movie sounds like "My Best Friend's Wedding" without the moralistic ending.

    Remember "Pretty Woman"? All I could think at the end is "Yeah right. Like every time they get in a fight, he doesn't throw the fact that she was a hooker right back in her face."

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    1. Oh yeah, I forgot about "My Best Friend's Wedding" !
      That movie was super fucked up! I saw it when I was 15, so I didn't truly understand the severity of Julia's selfish actions but now looking back, I'm mentally throwing popcorn at the screen. I do love the Dionne Warwick singalong... :)

      Ahahahahah and good call on "Pretty Woman"!! So, so, true. "No man has ever made me feel so cheap" "I highly doubt that" So awful!

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  3. I've never seen the movie mainly because I hate Kate Hudson movies and she's always seemed a bit hoeish to me. I think trust and loyalty are the top factors in a friendship and they should not be violated. So a friend of mine messing around with my man behind my back will not be tolerated and they would both have to go. I avoid watching those kind of movies I just end up really pissed of at the end wanting to hit a hoe :D

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    1. Kate Hudson is actually not the problem in this film (if you can believe it!). I actually felt sorry for her.

      I went ahead and read reviews about the book and her character is portrayed as being a total nightmare. This was not conveyed in the movie...at all. Not that that should excuse this behavior but it would soften the blow, I suppose.

      You would not like this movie. I'm sure your reaction would echo mine.

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  4. Where is this supposed to happen? Cause in small towns in the country side people have no choice but to go with what they have, close friends or cousins. Then they end up in the maury show to know who is the real father!

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    1. The story takes place in NY. It's a terrible story no matter where you are. The tagline is "There's a fine line between love and friendship..." Seriously.


      Grrr...!

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  5. So, I'm guessing that you didn't doze off as planned? ;)

    I don't remember having such a strong reaction to the film, but I remember being annoyed by different scenes. There's a lot of behavior that I don't agree with in American movies and also wonder about the message that it sends to people. But then we also have shows like Jersey Shore....

    If you haven't seen it before, don't watch "Midnight in Paris" while in CA. Seriously! I watched it at the UGC Danton (it's also shown in the film) and missed Paris even though I was here.

    While you were sprawled out Jabbe the Hutt style, please say that you had some tortilla chips with spicy salsa.

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    1. No, I certainly did not doze off. I was making snippy comments at the tv the entire time. Brett came back and I was super pissed. He was like "what happened?"

      I saw "Midnight in Paris" in Paris and it too made me misty-eyed for Paris...and I was there. Glad it wasn't just me! How funny.

      No chips and salsa for this sitting. I was sipping a can of Sofia Coppola champagne. : )

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    2. I saw Midnight in Paris in Spain... With a couple of chatty getriatrics to my right who totally ruined the photographic ode to Paris at the beginning of the movie and some snoring asshole to my left who ruined the rest! ;) Not a great film, but I liked it anyway:) Made me misty-eyed for Paris too:)

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    3. Found out recently that my so-called best friend from 13 years ago was badmouthing me and making out behind my back with my lover...

      Today, he's alone, she's in a crappy relationship, they're both broke and they lead generally humdrum lives... Not MOI:)))

      Success IS the best revenge:)

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    4. You found out recently?! Were you still in touch with this person?! Did she tell you?! Ahhhh! Details!!

      Generally people who do disgusting things repeat this pattern (as you were not their first or last victim) and end up leading very sad lives. This is my little "just turned 30 and see things differently" pearl o' wisdom. : )

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  6. Omg, I totally thought the exact same thing when I saw this movie (can't remember if it was with C or K). The worst part is that movies like that make people think it's actually okay to do stuff like that in real life.

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    1. From what I know about you from your blog and K, I can definitely see you NOT appreciating this film. Thanks for backing me up.

      The film is definitely conveying that this kind of behavior is okay. The last scene where the two walk off holding hands makes me sick. It's like we're supposed to be rooting for her like she finally got what she deserved and the ends justify the means.

      I guess she did get what she deserved. A dishonest coward who will only do the same thing to her...

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  7. Hollywood has just run out of ideas and so now goes to books that I wouldn't dare read. I feel I've seen this movie but clearly it wasn't that memorable. Anything w Kate Hudson (minus Almost Famous) is yuck in my book. Watch Black Swan. You won't be disappointed.

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    1. I tell you, Kate Hudson was the only entertaining aspect of the film! Weird, huh? You actually feel bad for her! I feel like this film didn't test it out on the audience. I guess their target audience is slime ball girlfriends who would steal your fiance. Ugh, this film is gross.

      I loved Black Swan! I think I'm the last person in the world to see it, it was well worth the wait. Natalie Portman (who I am not generally a fan of) did a fantastic job. Oscar, well-deserved!!

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  8. I probably gave this movie too much credit--scratch that, I am, but I really looked at less obviously. I think that, yeah, you're suppose to root for Rachel because, oh poor her, she needs to stand up for herself. And as much as I hated Darcy/Kate Hudson (I mean seriously she always plays this character except usually we have to root for her. I guess it's not her fault, maybe it's type casting?) That being said, she didn't deserve what happened to her, she shouldn't have been cheated on. She did, however cheat back, so... I don't think this character has any redeeming qualities. John Krasinski is always adorable but really, he's just the male Rachel, and I don't like that, it's just pathetic. But the absolute worst most despicable character is the fiance. He never mans up, even in the end he still can't man up, honestly that last scene where he hides, that would be the last straw for me if I was Rachel.

    Anyway, this is just my amateur, cinephile review of a movie that probably goes way too deep. Haha.

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