Thursday, January 19, 2012

Something Borrowed (Film 2011 vs. Novel)

By Dionysuspsyche
The concept intrigued me the first time I saw the trailer. Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) is an upstart lawyer who falls for her elementary school best friend's fiancĂ©, Dex (Colin Egglesfield). Our heroine is the anti-fiancĂ© stealing type, buried in her work at a job she hates. Her friend, Darcy, is a fun PR rep, and every B one could think of—bold, brazen, beautiful, bossy, and...bitchy.

Our initial encounter happens at Rachel's 30th birthday where she is feeling the epitome of the first downer milestone birthday. To her, Darcy (Kate Hudson) holds the world in the palm of her hand, and Rachel gets the honor of watching from the sidelines.

Let's stare into each other's eyes until the audience becomes morally ambiguous
What the book does an excellent job of conveying that the movie fails to do is that despite Darcy's always me-first attitude, she genuinely cares about Rachel at least half of the time. Rachel reciprocates this and tries to go the extra mile, partially out of guilt. The author also does a superior job of showing that Rachel is much closer to Dex and Darcy than they are to each other, and while Rachel is Darcy's childhood best friend, Dex is a better friend to her. It also acknowledges the tremedous stress that Rachel is under—both at work and in her social circle. Age is personified in the movies and across America, and despite the increased awareness of different lifestyles and everything in its own time, women are still somewhat stigmatized when it comes to conventional roles. Doubt me? Guys: ask your female friends, women: ask your older female family members. Despite the conventionality of the subject (imagine, a woman growing older wanting a relationship, horror!), the author conveys this quite well. I felt that in the movie, it comes off considerably more stereotypical. Yet, read the book entitled The Bridal Wave and see if your 20's and 30's don't feel like the same.

Here's where the book splits—the screenwriters decided there were too many characters for the audience, or it was too confusing, or they'd offset the ordinary by inserting John Krasinski (the Office) by fusing two characters in the book into a singular entity. I applaud them for this since one of the book characters is too obnoxious and the other is too sweet—who wouldn't want to cast John Krasinski as the perfect blend of both making him (to the unread audience) the highlight of the film?
When I do spear fingers, the audience gets freaked out, but when I do jazz hands, everyone claps. So...what hand gestures should I do for the wedding toast? I want to be intimidating, yet relatable.
When Rachel and Dex realize that they have mutual feelings, the novel and the movie (mostly the novel) do an excellent job of portraying what the audience feels while the story unfolds. “No! You can't love each other! He's engaged, that's wrong.” Yet, as the story blooms like a flower, the audience, much like the characters evolve and feel less extreme. Even the side story in all its weirdness brings the film back to the main plot.

Ethan (John Krasinski) is Rachel's Jimminy Cricket, constantly asking her to define her feelings for Dex and her to give him an ultimatum between her and Darcy, a ballsy move Rachel is reticent to make on account of her friendship and her self-doubt. The movie creates a couple of twists where only one was before, and that in and of itself was amusing. Darcy (Kate Hudson—who looks more like her mother Goldie Hawn every year!) plays the perfect bridzilla despite the fact that she's reliving another role. In the film, you can't tell if she's just a bride on the path to the alter or THAT chick, since she was almost the same character in Bride Wars (a movie I recommend more highly as it exacerbates the love-hate relationship that women share). I can't help but love Ginnifer Goodwin as she is in Once Upon a Time, an excellent TV show on ABC. She even made me somewhat like Johnny Cash's ex-wife in the movie, Walk the Line, her first notable role.
Our polar expressions are hilarious!
Not to confuse you in case you only read my sarcastic photo comments, but I liked the book, and the film was okay. Were I just to watch the movie, I most likely would've written it off prior to the end, but I would have been content merely to read the book. If given the choice, read the book, but if you choose to watch the movie, I'd recommend the book first just so you don't end up loathing the characters.

Or you could just watch for Kate Hudson's quirky expressions

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