I did not read Emily Giffin's book Something Borrowed
, but I saw the movie because I have a crush on John Krasinski and thought he was going to be the romantic lead and not the sidekick. I was horrified by the message that I took away from the movie - that it's okay to hurt people around you in the pursuit of your own happiness. It bothered me that Ginnifer Goodwin's character stole Kate Hudson's fiancee and that it was cast as a happy ending because Ginnifer liked him first and he liked Ginnifer first and the only reason it didn't work out was because they'd gotten the timing wrong. If there was any sort of ironic or satirical tone to the story, it eluded me because it just seemed mean-spirited and immature to me.
I didn't finish Friends Like Us
because it seemed to have the same sort of themes and characters. Willa goes to her high school reunion and is reunited with her high school best friend and fellow former awkward teen Ben, and learns that he had a huge crush on her and his hurt over the unrequitedness of that crush is why they hadn't spoken in seven years. Meanwhile, Willa's got a new, female bestie named Jane. When Ben tries to follow up with Willa after their reunion reunion, he meets Jane and, well, though I stopped reading it's easy to see where this one's going. Because Lauren Fox told us in the opening chapter. To Fox's credit, she doesn't set it up as a happy ending as Willa feels awkward, regretful, and sad upon seeing Jane for the first time in years. Still, though, the characters were behaving in ways that did not sit well with me and my dislike of them was enough that I couldn't imagine myself sloughing through more than 100 pages of this book.
I read one semi-positive review that described this as a deconstruction of a romance novel, which is interesting. It didn't even occur to me while I was reading that that might be Fox's goal. I think it's an interesting goal but if that's what Fox had in mind, I feel like she missed the mark. Her characters were just flat-out unlikable and her prose was a little too on the cutesy side to really be called witty. Also, I struggled a bit with the jump in time between the first few chapters because Fox's verb tenses confused me.