11 July 2011

something borrowed: book and movie review

I just finished reading Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin a few weeks ago.  I knew it had come out to theaters, and I had read another book by Giffin earlier this year, so I wanted to give it a shot.  I had known about this book for a few years now, but the plot had never interested me as I thought it was trampy.  If you don't know, the book is about a girl who is involved in an affair with her best friend's fianc√©.

The book was actually better than I thought it would be.  Giffin's writing style essentially saved it.  It made you root for someone you didn't think you would.  She also did a really good job describing the complexity of emotions and relationships involved, using flashbacks and minor characters to help draw out the true motivations.  Even though I ended up loving the main character, I still put the next installment, told by the best friend Darcy, on hold at the library (I'm next in the queue).

There was one really minor technicality thing that bothered me from the book though.  And this is also how you can tell I'm a ridiculously detail-oriented person.  The main character Rachel is also the only narrator of the book, and she says how she and Darcy had been childhood friends since marching in their small town's bicentennial parade with store-bought plastic drums.  Okay, so in my mind that puts them around 5-6 years old then.  The first scene of the book (and movie) is them celebrating Rachel's 30th birthday, which is in the same year as Darcy's.  At the very end of the book, she goes through all the stuff they have been through together, and one of those things was September 11.  Do you see where I'm going here?  If they were 5 in 1976, that would put them at born in 1971.  That would put Sep. 11, 2001, in the year of their 30th birthdays, and this book was obviously set after that.  After I finished the book, I actually went back to make sure I had read this all correctly and tried to figure out a reason.  I fell asleep that night losing a bit of respect for the editor.

As for the movie: it came to our base theater recently, only a few weeks after I had finished the book, making it fresh in my mind.  Sometimes it's not a good idea to see the movie right after you read the book because it's, well, too fresh.  Every little thing I saw I was comparing to the book.  But actually, overall, I think the movie did a decent job showing the complexities of the relationships, although the way Darcy was portrayed (by Kate Hudson) reminded me of one or two people I know and that was just plain scary.  The movie also made two of the other decent book characters just plain obnoxious.

One thing I didn't like that the movie did was combine two minor characters from the book into one leading male character (played by the adorable John Krasinski from The Office).  The character that got nixed (a female) was actually one of my favorites in the book, but putting a male in that role added an extra possible romantic conflict.  The friend I saw the movie with commented that this character was just a bit too prevalent, and I have to agree.  Also, my favorite scene in the book was completely toned-down for the movie, even though I think it would've still fit the PG-13 rating to leave it alone.

So, overall, the book was decent, but the movie wasn't.  Have you seen or read Something Borrowed?  Did you like it?


  1. I can relate to seeing a movie when the book is still too fresh in your mind . . . Prince Caspian in the Chronicles of Narnia was like that for me. There was so much stuff that was changed/missed/moved etc that I was initially a bit disappointed.

    Thanks for sharing your review! :)

  2. great review! i really want to read the book and see the movie too ... you got me wanting to go to the library again! lol