As a huge Emily Giffin fan, and especially a huge fan of Something Borrowed and Something Blue, I was excited when I heard Hollywood was making a Something Borrowed movie based on the book.
That is… until I saw the trailer. And saw that every character has been badly cast.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. I mean, Hollywood’s miscasting and misinterpretations of novels never seems to disappoint. For some reason though, this movie version of Something Borrowed really pisses me off. Maybe it’s because its an arguably lesser-known novel, so therefore I feel it’s more “mine,” than, say, Jodi Picoult‘s book My Sister’s Keeper.
It looks like they got the synopsis of the movie about right. For those who don’t know, the book begins with the protagonist, Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin), waking up the morning after her 30th birthday party, to find herself in bed with her best friend, Darcy’s (Kate Hudson), fiance, Dex (Colin Egglesfield). Coincidentally, Darcy is the one who threw Rachel the birthday party the night before. Readers might find themselves displeased with Rachel’s actions, until they begin to understand the dynamics of Rachel and Darcy’s friendship, which began in childhood. Basically, Rachel was always the nice, meek friend who stood in Darcy’s shadow their entire lives. Darcy has been the popular, beautiful one since birth, who has bossed Rachel around for their entire friendship, and always seems to get her way. As you begin to see the way the two friends interact, Darcy becomes a less sympathetic character, and most readers will root for Rachel. Darcy dated Rachel’s childhood crush, Ethan (John Krasinski), back in fifth grade. Rachel was the one who introduced Darcy and Dex. After sleeping together, both Rachel and Dex discover they have deep feelings for one another, but Darcy (who doesn’t know about Rachel and Dex’s tryst) and Dex still proceed with the wedding, with Rachel as the maid-of-honor. Rachel and Dex continue their affair in secrecy and Rachel is rife with dueling emotions of love for Dex and loyalty to Darcy. Just when it seems that Rachel and Dex must stop seeing each other, they find out that emotions on Darcy’s end might be more complicated than they thought.
I think the reason why I am so offended by the casting is that Emily Giffin describes each character so wholly that the reader has a clear picture of what they look like, sound like, act like, and are like. Her descriptions of Rachel and Darcy’s friendship, from childhood to high school to present day, is so complete that you might actually think you know them. It’s part of what makes the book so compelling; you can’t really dislike any major character, because you see the charm of each character, as well as the character’s flaws. Rachel, for example, is fair-skinned, with a soft, womanly figure. I always pictured her played by a Renee Zellweger type. Ginnifer Goodwin as a choice, makes sense, in that she is the less-obviously beautiful friend; the second-fiddle to Kate Hudson. Still, I think I would have to see the movie to determine whether or not she was a good choice for Rachel.
But Darcy is described as having “smooth, olive skin” and dark hair. Sure – that sounds exactly like Kate Hudson. Maybe I’m only bitter because something about Kate Hudson annoys me (maybe it’s her obvious awareness about her “kookiness” and obsession with being spontaneous). Or maybe it’s because while every other reader relates to Rachel, I relate to Darcy, probably because she was confident and funny, while Rachel was weaker and full of self-doubt. (I am always strangely compelled by the villain in books and movies. My favorite Rugrats character was Angelica. Don’t judge me.) Darcy is my favorite character and I would hate to see such a well-written personality bastardized by Kate Hudson. Personally, I always saw her played by a younger Catherine Zeta-Jones. P.S. If you find that you love Darcy too, or even if you don’t, read Something Blue, which is the second installment in the series, and is written from the point of view of Darcy.
Ethan is a pretty minor character in Something Borrowed, and only gets center stage in the second installment of the series. He also lives in London, but in the trailer, it appears he lives in America, with the rest of the characters. It kills me to say this, as I love John Krasinski and worship him as Jim from The Office, but he probably would have played a better Dex than an Ethan. Ethan is supposed to be the underdog – not the obvious hottie, but the small-framed, “sensitive” guy that only the girl who bothered to look past the surface would be attracted to.
Something Borrowed comes out May 6th. I’m really hoping I like it, but I’m not holding my breath. Check out the trailer below: