When we last left our spineless couple, they were about to be run over by New York City traffic…in the most romantic way possible, of course.
After they survive this brush with death, Rachel goes home to count her blessings and finds a message on her answering machine from Dex saying that he hopes she comes to the Hamptons that weekend.
Once there, absolutely nothing has changed. Darcy is still in the dark, Dex is still engaged, and Ethan is still an ass to Claire.
But, we find out that Dex is afraid calling off the wedding will upset his mom! That automatically makes it okay that he called Rachel to the Hamptons just to make her watch him frolic on the beach with another woman.
Rachel is rightly upset, so when they all go to the (apparently only) bar, she pulls Dex aside and tells him that if he really cares about her he needs to end it with Darcy.
HAHAHAHAHA PSYCH! Actually Rachel engages in a sexy-dance competition with Darcy that ends in Rachel pulling a groin muscle.
So, let’s parse what this particular scene might be telling us, as ladies who base their life choices off of rom-coms:
- Women are in constant competition for the best men. If you get the best man, you win.
- To compete, you must show that you are sexy
- But to win, you can’t be too good at being sexy or else you are a slut and a horrible person.
Back in New York City, Dex sends Rachel flowers to apologize and then proposes that they spend the day together on the Fourth of July to figure things out. He’ll just tell his fiancé that he’s working to cover up his alone time with his mistress.
It’s at this point that A started hoping this movie was about a woman breaking free of an emotionally manipulative man and finding fulfillment in her own life without him.
Rachel and Dex spend the Fourth of July wandering through strangely empty NYC streets. Dex implies that him getting engaged to Darcy is all Rachel’s fault because she didn’t speak up in law school. Then the day ends on a rooftop bed and…
they have sex. Again. And then wake up the next morning in post-coital bliss complete with virginal white sheets and softly diffused morning light.
They go for a walk, and who should show up but Dex’s parents. Dex then insists that Rachel stay to have dinner with them all. The dad pulls Dex away from the table to heavily imply that calling off the wedding would besmirch the family name.
This has such an impact on Dex that he won’t even come up for sex! That’s how we know he’s really upset.
Poor Rachel is even MORE confused that usual, but tries to justify Dexter’s actions to Ethan, who’s having none of this shit. He calls Rachel out for being spineless and tells her to force Dex to make a decision.
The next few scenes are pretty uneventful as Rachel stumbles towards attempting to maybe stand up for herself someday. The only notable thing is this:
See that lady in pink next to Marcus the Douchey? That is the author of the book this movie is based on. And she’s reading the sequel to this tripe. Now you know whose face to put on your dartboard as soon as the E.L. James picture has too many holes in it.
Darcy and Rachel decide to have a sleepover at Rachel’s house. Dex shows up and calls Rachel, asking to see her. Rachel lies to Darcy again, telling her that Ethan is calling. Darcy assumes Rachel and Ethan are sleeping together and Rachel doesn’t correct her because spineless idiots evidently can’t form words or rebuttals.
All this awfulness leads to the only good part of the whole movie:
As they’re going to sleep, Darcy reveals a human person under the stereotype as she expresses how grateful she is for Rachel. Darcy says that Rachel is the only person who really knows her, that not even Dex really knows her like Rachel does.
This seems like a real moment between friends, which leads us to our next big question about this movie (and others like it): is this whole “childhood frenemies who stay super close throughout the years” a real thing?
In our experiences, someone may have a toxic friend in their life as a child, but when they grow up they realize that their friend is awful and they distance themselves. Do people in real life really go on pretending that they’re BFFs with someone they resent as much as Rachel resents Darcy? And then do they use that resentment to excuse their betrayal of said friend? It just seems like a really shitty thing to do, folks.
Speaking of awful people, after the sleepover, Darcy asks Rachel whether she should go through with marrying Dex. Rachel, after some hesitation, tells Darcy to go ahead and marry him. But then! Darcy says that she cheated on Dex!
Which, luckily for Rachel, makes all cheating a-okay! What a relief, right?
Rachel dishes to Ethan, who gets really frustrated that she’s not winning in the man-contest against Darcy. He tells Rachel that she needs to steal Dex from Darcy by revealing Darcy’s affair. That’s clearly the only way to win the only game that matters: getting a guy before your ovaries shrivel and blow away in the wind.
At the Hamptons that weekend, Ethan reaches his breaking point during a game of badminton and threatens to reveal either Darcy’s affair or Dex’s. We had also reached our breaking point and wished he would just do it already.
But no, he is interrupted by a badminton racket to the face.
And then…THEN! Rachel had a moment of strength and common sense later that night! She tells Dex to just decide what to do! She tells him she loves him and wants him to cancel the wedding!
But then Dex says that, unfortunately, his spine got lost in the mail so he’s going to go ahead and marry the woman he doesn’t love. Damn you FedEx!
Heartbroken, Rachel runs off to join Ethan in London. Ethan tells Rachel he loves her because his rom-com contract says he must. Rachel pats him on the head and flies back to New York, but not before Ethan also informs her that she has won the competition between Darcy and Rachel.
Back at her apartment, Rachel finds her prize waiting on her doorstep:
It’s Dexter of course, who called off the wedding after seeing his mother make a sad face. Dexter and Rachel share some mushy dialogue in Rachel’s apartment, they kiss, then Darcy shows up with some big news. Not only did Darcy cheat on Dexter multiple times with Marcus, she had the nerve to get pregnant with Marcus’s baby as well.
After all these revelations, made with Dexter hiding in a closet somewhere, Darcy is almost out the door when she sees Dexter’s coat and knows he’s there. We finally get the big confrontation, that ends with Darcy saying that she’ll never talk to Rachel again and storming out.
When next we see Rachel, it’s two months later and she’s bringing Dexter’s dry cleaning to him when she runs into Darcy. Rachel apologizes again and tells Darcy that she misses her.
We have no clue why Rachel misses her since all we ever heard was how much Darcy forced Rachel to do things she didn’t want to do. But apparently Darcy is softened by the magical rays of forgiveness that her fetus is pumping out because she hints that there may be a reconciliation in their future.
So, Rachel gets the guy of her dreams AND kind of forgiven for betraying her best friend’s trust. Getting a man also made her develop a sense of style because the last outfit we see her in is the only good one in the entire movie:
So, the moral of this story seems to be “Hate your best friend and sleep with her fiancé to gain a sense of style. But make sure your best friend is cheating, too! That way, you can still claim moral high ground because TRUE LOVE and you’ll be forgiven for everything.”