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Blu-ray Review: Something Borrowed (2011)

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I suppose you could call me something of a masochist for even acknowledging this trivial piece of personal information, but I really, actually, truthfully do enjoy watching romantic comedies. Mind you, I’m the guy that was excited to learn that Burial Ground: Nights of Terror was being released to Blu-ray and nearly jumped through the roof in a store recently when he came across a Media videocassette of Joe D’Amato’s Endgame in an uncut box. I’m also the lad who owns nearly every single Ed Wood and Jerry Warren feature ever made; the very same bloke who likes to make people watch Cannibal Holocaust just so I can make them throw up by playing the soundtrack for them (just ask my ex-wife).

And yet, I still like watching cutesy movies about silly folks falling in love. I suppose it could be my secret innate desire to be one with the “normal nation” — or at least likeable by the “par people” — even though, in reality, I don’t give a damn about the so-called “conventional community” which society reminds us everyday we must be a part of (see: Reality TV). Or maybe it’s because I’m so neurotic and manic about everything from the world of cinema to life in general that I just need to turn my brain off long for an extended period of time, and these rom-coms fill the bill.

It’s hard to say. It’s also hard to care.

Most of the time, my attempts at being whisked away to the magical land of fairy tale romances are thwarted by the fact that a majority of the current entries in such a genre aren’t fit for trap shooting (e.g. When In Rome). Thus, you can imagine my surprise when I popped in Something Borrowed and discovered that it really wasn’t half bad. In fact, it was a bit more than half good; and this is a movie that stars Kate Hudson, mind you!

Fortunately, Hudson is not the lead character here. Instead, actress Ginnifer Goodwin embodies the psyche of Rachel, the principal protagonist from Emily Giffin’s novel of the same name. Rachel is a somewhat nerdy and rather bland attorney whose best friend, the oh-so-obnoxious Darcy (Hudson) is getting married to hunky handsome Dexter, a.k.a. “Dex” (Colin Egglesfield), another attorney who attended law school with Rachel. One fateful evening, Dex spills the beans to Rachel that he had always had a crush on her, to wit the pair indulge in a little practice of their own.

This, of course, worries Rachel: should she reveal her huge faux pas to her longtime pal and confidant, or should she take a cue from her abhorrent best friend and seize something in life for herself for a change? And how will a certainly-doomed weekend at a beach house with the required assortment of kooky characters aid her plight? The Office co-star John Krasinski adds a lot of weight to the film as Rachel’s platonic boyfriend, Ethan.

Steve Howey (yes, that guy from Reba) and Ashley Williams (Brad Paisley’s sister-in-law — giving this movie two connections to the world of country music too many!) is enjoyable as the lustful lovesick lass who plagues Ethan’s existence. There’s also an appearance by Dexter semi-regular Geoff Pierson as — oddly enough — Dexter’s father: a cameo that some of you will no doubt find amusing in itself.

On the whole, Something Borrowed is an enjoyable way to pass the time — particularly if you like romantic comedies. There are a couple of moments here that really bog the whole film down a good notch or two, such as a “Salt-n-Pepa” dance routine executed by the lead actresses. It’s a scene that literally comes out of nowhere; one that would have been better off left out of the movie completely. There’s also an unnecessary stinger that takes place between the end-credits which is followed by a groan-inducing “To Be Continued” card.

But, considering that Something Borrowed barely broke even at the US box office, I doubt we’ll be seeing that sequel anytime soon. And so, this 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer of this better-than-average (compared to the average rom-com, that is) feature will have to do for now (and possibly for all time). The presentation has a thoroughly “happy” color palette about it (wherein everything looks resembles a cloudless day at the beach), so expect lots of pastels. The detail here isn’t completely defined at times, owing to some poor contrast. Much like the movie, it’s fine overall.

You wouldn’t imagine that a movie like Something Borrowed would carry an English-language DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround mix that would outweigh the audio tracks of even the most action-oriented Blu-ray releases out there. And, you’d be right for holding such a preconceived notion: it doesn’t. But, for what it’s worth (and for what the movie is), Something Borrowed’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 track suffices. French an Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtracks are also included, as are optional subtitles in English (SDH), French and Spanish.

Special features for Something Borrowed are limited to a handful of brief featurettes (“On Location Tours,” “Inside Something Borrowed,” “Something Old?,” “What Is ‘Something Borrowed?’,” “Marcus’ Guide to the Ladies,”), a couple of deleted scenes and a gag reel. Confidentially, they could have left these items off the disc and no one would have minded one bit. Of course, your “average anyone” might feel the same way about Something Borrowed in-general: that they could have not made the film without fear of lessening our respective lives any.

But hey, it certainly managed to entertain me for the better part of two hours. I guess that’s all that matters, right?

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About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.