An adaptation of Emily Giffin's novel faces a fundamental problem: Can you create a sympathetic center for people doing a morally indefensible thing? Apparently the answer is “no.”
The story follows wallflower 30-year-old attorney Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) as she begins an affair with Dex (Colin Egglesfield), the guy she's had a crush on since law school.
Unfortunately, he's also now the fiancé of her brash best friend since childhood, Darcy (Kate Hudson). Screenwriter Jennie Snyder beefs up the role of Rachel's male confidante, Ethan, which fortunately allows John Krasinski to provide some much-needed comic relief. But no matter how charming Goodwin is, she can't fill in the holes left by scooping out the history of the rival/frienemy relationship with Darcy — perhaps because making Darcy even shallower makes Rachel's betrayal less icky.
Every change from the book feels like a desperate attempt to make Rachel and Dex more conventionally romantic-comedy likable, so that we might somehow see them as deserving of an obvious happy ending. Instead, those changes leave something that resembles a remake of Pretty in Pink, only with the endearingly insecure teenagers replaced by annoyingly and unpleasantly insecure adults. Grade: C
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