Something Borrowed



I have been harping on Something Borrowed since I saw the movie a few weeks ago.  I read the book over the weekend and now I'm harping once again.  For the last time.  Probably.  Maybe.  Possibly.  At the very least until I read Something Blue.

I cannot believe I'm about to admit this -- in written form where it can be preserved forever more thanks to Google Cache - but . . . I actually liked the movie better than the book.  I KNOW!  When I revealed this to my husband, he informed me that it was because Jim Halpert - I mean, John Krasinski - was in the movie.  This just goes to show that Eddie is most definitely not a Book Person.  Any Book Person - any real Book Person - knows.  Your very favorite actor can star in a movie based on a book that you only marginally enjoyed and you run a 90% chance of leaving the theater muttering about how you can't believe HE starred in a movie that slaughtered a perfectly good plot line and see if you'll be buying a copy of Us Weekly with HIS face on the cover again.

No.  John Krasinski was perfect in the part of Ethan and I'm pretty sure he had to read the book to "fit" the part the way he did which made me feel like this small kinship with him and I definitely enjoyed him in the movie.  But he's not the reason I liked it better.  It just . . . it was . . . better.  And maybe that's part of the reason I'm about to diss on this whole book/ movie big time.  Because I'm never - never! - supposed to like the movie more than the book.  I feel like a bad Book Person right now.  A really bad one.  Thanks a lot, Emily Griffin.

If you have not read the book/ seen the movie and you don't know want to know any important details (i.e. HOW IT ENDS) please don't read any further.  I'm about to get all kinds of SPOILER ALERT up in here (up in here).

For those of you who aren't awares, or those of you who need a refresher since you read the book when it came out in 2005 and refuse to watch the movie because you're a good Book Person who knows better than to see any movie that's made from a book, here's the basic plot line: Main character Rachel is an attorney in Manhattan.  On the night of her 30th birthday party, she hits the sauce a little hard and ends up doing the no pants dance with her best friend's (Darcy) fiancee (Dex).  Over the course of way too many pages and much analyzing by a Rachel who was extremely more likeable in the movie, Dex and Rachel carry on their affair.  They love each other!  Darcy is the girl we all went to high school with.  You know, the Homecoming Queen who bulldozed over everyone and everything that got in her way and ended up getting whatever she wanted.  She's selfish and rude and we're supposed to hate her because she's, well, selfish and rude.  Rachel wants Dex to call off the wedding and, at first, he tells her that he can't do that to Darcy.  But, like any good Chick Lit, he comes to his senses and calls the wedding off without telling Darcy about his affair with Rachel.  In the end, Darcy finds out about the affair -- but not after she spills the beans that she's been doing a little bit-o, bit-o cheating herself by rolling in the hay with Dex's BFF, Marcus.  And, oh yeah, she's preggers with a Little Marcus.  The friendship is over and ruined but, HEY, it doesn't matter because all four of these horny SOB's have their lusty relationships to keep them going.

There are four things fundamentally wrong with Something Borrowed.  Four reasons it left a bad taste in my mouth even though I plowed through the entire book in a weekend whilst still managed to make sure my children were fed and (mostly) clothed and not killing each other.  I'll break down those four things for you right hurrre.

1) The most obvious: it glorifies cheating.  Basically, everyone cheats on everyone else and it's all okay in the end with the only casualty being a life long friendship.  Say it with me now: Dubya Tee Eff?  That's not okay!  Cheating isn't okay! 
2) The book is totally black and white and things just.aren't.that.way.  The character of Darcy is thoroughly unlikeable.  She's the girl we all love to hate because she gets whatever she wants and she does so by only looking out for number one.  There are very few things about the character that one can find likeable.  She has pretty much ZERO redeeming qualities beyond her pretty face.  And therein lies the problem.  It's not really like that.  There's always a gray area.  No matter how selfish and nasty the person is, there's usually some sort of good about them.  I mean, look at Angelina Jolie.  She's a Brad-stealing, leg-showing harlot but she also ADOPTS BABIES FROM THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES. 

The author paints Darcy as this icky icky poo character because we're supposed to hate her.  And if we hate her then that makes it okay for Dex to cheat on her (yes!  Let the Beautiful Girl Who Always Gets Everything be cheated on for once) and Rachel to betray her friendship.  But ya know what?  Still not okay.  Emily Griffin tries so hard -- too hard -- to get us to hate Darcy and cheer for Rachel and Dex.  I hate that.  Show us the gray area.  Let us feel a little tiny bit of empathy for Darcy.

3) The consequences are glossed over.  Other than the ending of the friendship, we don't see many consequences at all in the movie.  In the book, Rachel's mother calls her and is disappointed.  Those are not real consequences of something this major.  And, even though we get that Darcy is self-centered and Not a Good Person, wouldn't there be just a little more mourning of the death of a friendship you've maintained since elementary school?  Especially a BFF-type friendship?  That's a major consequence and I think it could've . . . should've . . . been highlighted more beyond the "gee, I feel really bad but that beyotch was totes selfish!"

4) It's just not realistic.  I mean, duh, it's a book and I get that.  Hello!  I've read the Twilight series (please don't judge me).  I know not to expect reality in 99.9999% of my fiction reading material.  I get that.  But, for some reason, it pissed me off more than it should have with this book.  If this had of happened in real life, if Rachel and Darcy and Dex were real people and this was a real situation, this would've ended one of two ways:

* Darcy's affair with Marcus - and the subsequent pregnancy - never would've happened.  That's another one of those things the author threw in to make us feel like it was okay that Rachel and Dex were getting it on.  Dex would've gone ahead and married Darcy, if this were real life.  Rachel would've been devastated -- until she shagged Dex in the bathroom during the wedding reception.  They would've carried on their affair for several years, Rachel giving up on a potential suitor here and there because she was so in loooooorve with a man she could never have.  The affair would've finally fizzled out when Dex traded Rachel for a new, blonder, bustier model.


* Dex would have called off the marriage and the affair with Rachel would've lasted another week or two.  After suffeciently ruining the friendship between Darcy and Rachel, Dex would've moved on to the next set of BFF's and Rachel would never get over him.  She'd end up swearing off men forever and finally find herself, at age 40, pouring over the information for sperm donors at her local fertility clinic.

Have you read the book?  What did you think?  Am I the only one JUST SO IRRITATED by the whole theme of this book? 

For the record, I've never had a fiancee cheat on me with my BFF so I don't know why this has got my panties so twisted.  There really is no reason for me to be so annoyed by this book.  None!  I'm so annoyed that I wish I COULD give a reason. 

In other book-related news: I downloaded the 50 Shades trilogy over the weekend and started it yesterday.  Ya'll.  I realize that I'm supposed to be all, "OMG, you HAVE to go read this NOW!"  But.  It's . . . well, I'm about 85 or so pages in and I'm just not digging it at this point.  It's so poorly written.  Like, if I see the word "murmur" one more time (is that the only synonym the author knows for said?) I AM GOING TO SCREAM.  Thus far, the main character isn't even slightly relateable or likeable.  Imma give the book another chapter or two but right now?  Yeah.  Not buying the hype.
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