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Why Rachel From Something Borrowed Looks So Familiar

In the golden age of streaming services, even the most unsuspecting films can suddenly become popular with new audiences. Whether it's a long-forgotten childhood favorite, that high-brow drama everyone was talking about, or a cheesy love story, seemingly any film now has a second chance at success through streaming.

One of the latest nostalgic romantic-comedies to hit Netflix is "Something Borrowed." The 2011 adaptation of Emily Giffin's 2005 book follows Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin), a career-focused, perpetually single lawyer whose free-spirited best friend Darcy (Kate Hudon) is engaged to her secret crush from law school, Dex (Colin Egglesfield).

It's a fairly typical entry to the rom-com genre: Rachel and Dex rekindle their old feelings despite the engagement, their secret fling is always on the verge of being revealed, Darcy's mean girl tendencies are finally called out, Rachel's best friend Ethan (John Krasinski) admits he's in love with her, and there's a surprise pregnancy, to name a few clichés. Kate Hudson's reign as the rom-com queen is challenged with this film, though, as she's portraying the oblivious best friend instead of the leading lady. So, why does actress Ginnifer Goodwin look so familiar?

Ginnifer Goodwin was a sister-wife on Big Love

After her TV debut in a 2001 episode of "Law & Order," Ginnifer Goodwin went on to have her first main role as Diane Snyder on the comedy-drama "Ed" from 2001 to 2003. However, one of her best-known roles was on the critically acclaimed HBO series "Big Love." The show explored a fictional polygamist family of fundamentalist Mormons living in Salt Lake City. Goodwin starred as Margene "Margie" Heffman, the third and youngest wife of Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton). At the start of the series, Bill's other wives, Barb (Jeanne Tripplehorn) and Nicki (Chlöe Sevigny), resist accepting Margie, their former babysitter, as their sister wife.

While the drama was enough to pull in viewers, the show's creators were careful to not condemn the religious practices. They "aimed to create a nonjudgmental portrait of plural marriage," so the show "[focuses] more on the practical and emotional aspects of polygamy than on its moral or ethical aspects" (via New Yorker).

"Big Love" aired for five seasons from 2006 to 2011, receiving dozens of nominations and winning TV Program of the Year in 2010 (via IMDb). Beyond the awards and the critical acclaim, though, many of its stars loved working on the show. "None of us wanted that show to end," Goodwin told Glamour. "That was the best job I ever had, best job I will ever have."

Goodwin learned that sometimes He's Just Not That Into You

Though "Something Borrowed" is one of Ginnifer Goodwin's more popular movie roles, she's best known for portraying the hopeless romantic Gigi Phillips in "He's Just Not That Into You."

The 2009 romantic-comedy follows Gigi and several loosely connected characters dealing with relationship woes like infidelity and a partner who doesn't believe in marriage. Goodwin's character struggles with understanding what her dates want, which always ends with her getting burned. She befriends Alex (Justin Long), a bartender who gives her helpful dating advice. Naturally, she misinterprets his friendship as something more and gets hurt yet again. However, Gigi and Alex reconcile and wind up together in the end. Despite its low ratings, "He's Just Not That Into You" is a staple in the romantic-comedy genre and has found a home on streaming platforms and frequently airs on E!.

In a 2011 interview with Katie Couric for Glamour, Couric described Goodwin's early career roles as "the girl(s) people feel sorry for." The actress agreed with the assessment, saying, "I wonder if the reason I kept being cast in those underdog roles was because I'm so optimistic and hopeful, and that bleeds through into all of my characters."

Goodwin's fairytale romance on Once Upon a Time

Combining the modern world with a fantastical fairytale realm, ABC's "Once Upon a Time" offered a unique take on beloved childhood characters. Ginnifer Goodwin starred as Princess Snow White/Mary Margaret Blanchard for six seasons and guest-starred in its final seventh season.

Goodwin's character is the mother of protagonist Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison), who is stunned to learn of this estranged royal family in a magical otherworld. Throughout the series, Swan embarks on adventures to break the family curse and restore peace in this not-so-make-believe land.

When reflecting on the role, Goodwin admitted that she was proud of herself for giving "Once Upon a Time" a chance. "That pilot was so refreshing and inventive and not-done, which could have been a recipe for disaster. But I took the plunge and was rewarded immeasurably" (via Entertainment Weekly).

Perhaps the most enchanting aspect, though, is that Snow White's happily-ever-after with Prince Charming (Josh Dallas) wasn't only on the show — in fact, Goodwin and Dallas's on-screen romance became a reality. "Over the run of this show, I met Prince Charming, fell in love, got married, and had two babies. It doesn't get better than that," she told EW.

Goodwin's other on-screen ventures

While the actress is best known for her previously mentioned roles, Ginnifer Goodwin has had a prolific career. From portraying Vivian Cash in the musical biopic "Walk the Line" alongside Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon to voicing Officer Judy Hopps in the thought-provoking animated film "Zootopia," she has explored a wide range of characters.

Goodwin also found a niche starring in made-for-TV films like "Killing Kennedy," "I Am Somebody's Child: The Regina Louise Story," for which she also served as an executive producer, and "Five," which received a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Casting (via IMDb). Most recently, Goodwin starred as submissive housewife Beth Ann Stanton in the first season of "Why Women Kill," a Paramount+ anthology series about three women dealing with infidelity in different eras. She described it as a "free-standing 10-hour movie" with a clever, unpredictable finale (via Alibi).

In May 2021, it was announced that Goodwin will star in the upcoming Fox comedy "Pivoting" with Eliza Coupe and Maggie Q (via Deadline). While Goodwin isn't on social media, her husband shared the news to Instagram and wrote, "I agree... more #ginnifergoodwin is always a good idea."