I purposefully got the tires on my car replaced at a shop near the movie theater, so I could walk over and watch this film, instead of waiting in the lobby for two hours.
I should have waited in the lobby.
I love romantic comedies because of their cheesiness, so that’s not really the problem. The scene when Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) runs through the rain to profess her true feelings or the scene when she decides to rejoin Dex (Collin Egglesfield) in the bar and when she turns to go back he’s standing behind here were right up my alley. But the presentation of the romance in this film was wrong from the beginning.
First, it’s a chronology nightmare. One minute it’s Rachel’s 30th birthday, thrown by her best friend Darcy (Kate Hudson) who makes it more about her than Rachel, then you’re somehow on her first day of college a little later. Her whole college relationship with Dex up until he begins dating Darcy is so staggered throughout the film that you don’t get to the end of it until the movie’s almost over. There’s not even enough tension in their history to warrant anyone waiting for the back story to pan out. Every time they entered the past, everyone in the theater gave a collective sigh that translated into, “Who cares?”
When Rachel and Dex slip up and sleep together, they try to put it behind them, but ultimately decide to spend a weekend figuring things out, as Dex puts it. I’m pretty sure that’s called an affair. But it’s presented as a romance that lasts for at least a weekend, I guess. I only guess because after a short scene shot in the day, it’s suddenly night and they’re on a roof somewhere talking. After that, things are really precarious and nothing’s set in stone.
Judging by Rachel’s actions, you’d think her best friend must be horrible, but Darcy calls Rachel her soulmate when she’s talking about how close they’ve been since they were kids. Darcy does have her flaws and she’s having doubts about her feelings for Dex, but she’s presented as a good friend to Rachel. In one scene Darcy even tells Rachel she’d never let anyone hurt her. This isn’t really expected and turns Rachel from a character represented as the person you’re rooting for to a woman you’d like to take a long walk off a short bridge.
Maybe Rachel would have listened to her conscience it weren’t for her best friend Ethan (John Krasinski) who challenges her to do something and to ask for what she wants. But he can’t even seem to do the same when it comes to a girl he slept with once who is now stalking him. I love John Krasinski, but his character is brushed off as a sidekick who almost shows us his personality, but ends up looking like a sad jerk.
There are also a large variety of plot holes that I can’t really begin to talk about without spoiling the whole movie for the few of you who will still see it. One thing I can say is there’s absolutely no indication of what Darcy does for a living.
I really wanted the film to be about a girl with a horrible best friend who is always a doormat and finally stands up for herself. Instead, I got a film about a girl who is a bit of a doormat, but has a pretty good best friend and decides to take her man not only because she has feelings for him but also just because she can. Instead of rooting for Dex and Rachel to work, I just wanted them both to stop being so selfish and to stop hurting Darcy. (Wasn’t she supposed to be the bad guy?)
Dex’s father puts it best when he says something like, “What we want isn’t always what’s right.”