( Warning: Slight Spoilers ahead)
I’ll be honest, I was actually very pissed off when this movie came out. I’ve had the book and the sequel for months, and already knowing the author was a favorite of mine, I was excited to read them. However, I’m the ‘save the best for last/hoarder’ type, so I was holding off until just the right time. I’m guessing it would have been later in the summer, maybe next school semester. I just know when something feels right, even when it comes to reading books. (aka, I’m crazy.) So when the movie came out, I was annoyed. 1. This book was no longer my own personal discovery (never-mind the fact that it was a popular book to begin with, I can ignore this fact until it’s in theatres everywhere), and 2. I wanted to see the movie, so I was forced to read the book soon. Luckily, I finished it in two days and, with high expectations, forced my friend Fernanda to see the movie with me. Sigh. I’ll start with the movie. (Like I said, I like to keep the best for last.)
- In the book, the main character Rachel, had two partners in crime. A best guy friend (Ethan) living in London, and a close girlfriend (Hilary) working with her at her law firm. Saving trouble and elaborate character elaborations, the movie merged the two personalities into one, making a cute, funny and charming best friend out of Ethan. Despite the merging of two, He was the only character whose personality was, in my opinion, almost completely true to the book (or personalities, considering he was playing Hillary and Ethan.) He was also the only one who made me consistently laugh. In turn, he was one of the only I ever looked forward to seeing in the movie and, if these characters were to come to life, the only one I would want to enjoy a cup of coffee with. He was, unlike the others, relatable; To me, he became the perfect mix of my brother and best dude friend. Though only a minor character, I found myself attached to him, and only him, the whole way through.
- Darcy (Kate Hudson) and her bridesmaid Claire both had moments that made me smile or giggle every now and again. Appearance wise, I saw Ginnifer Goodwin as the perfect Rachel. It wasn’t that these actresses hurt the movie at all, but simply didn’t add enough to it.
- Oh! I also enjoyed the cheesy dance/beach/music scenes between friends. I’m a sucker for these things. It reminded me of 30-year old versions of my friends and I.
- The characters were severely underdeveloped. Looking at the main ones, there was nothing particularly noteworthy or even redeemable about any of them. At first I just thought they didn’t have enough time to capture the beauty of the novel, as a book has hundreds of pages whereas a movie only a couple of hours. But as the movie progressed, I realized that wasn’t the case. The entire film was all over the place. Everyone was so disconnected,they might as well have well been talking to themselves the entire time. There was no chemistry or rhythm. The only attraction I sensed at all was between the best friends, Rachel and Ethan, and in the book their friendship was strictly platonic. Taking it a step further, Ethan even admitted to liking Rachel in the movie, which gave viewers the impression they would end up together. I even thought they might completely alter the ending of the book. But they didn’t. His feelings were added as a rather irrelevant afterthought, and I am still scratching my head trying to figure out the point to this, if any.
- Dex, the main male character, is what totally blew the movie for me. I was extremely attracted to him in the book, and I figured putting a face to this would make me practically orgasm in my seat or something. He was nothing like the Dex I knew from the book. Psychically, he was cute and appropriate enough. But his personality fell flat, the man (in my humble opinion) couldn’t act worth a piece of poop, (how’s that line for a movie review?!), and him and Rachel (the supposed to be lovebirds) had no connection whatsoever. Their lines together seemed forced, bland and awkward. Their kisses urged me to yawn. Their complete lack of chemistry made me want to get up and pee, which I actually did once at a ‘pivotal‘ point in the film. Such a let-down considering what he, Rachel and this movie had the potential to be.
- The book:
- As you might be able to tell, I loved the book. I’m happy that I read it first; If I had seen the movie beforehand I may have been weary of picking the book up at all. I became attached to almost every character, which was interesting considering so many had conflicting interests. But the author, Emily Giffin, makes it clear that there is no black and white in life, something I too have learned in the past four years. I empathized and related with Rachel on a very personal level; I too have been the good girl who finally learns to, sometimes selfishly, take chances and live life more fully. Oftentimes it was even as if she was reading my damn mind, something rare and delightful to find in a chick romance novel. I even appreciated the happy ending, which is something I’m not always so fond of. But it was a bittersweet and realistic happy ending, one that left you wanting to know and understand more. I appreciated this. After all, even in real life, that is how happy endings usually play out.
- Favorite Quotes:
- “I wonder if they had sex since he and I were together. Surely, yes. And that bothers me in some weird way. Maybe that happens whenever you watch someone on your List with someone else. I tell myself that I have no right to be jealous. That I had no business adding him to my List in the first place.”
- “The feel of his hair. And the way he looked sleeping in my bed, half-covered by my sheets. Those are the images that I remember the most. They are like the photographs of ex-boyfriends that you desperately want to throw away, but you can’t bring yourself to get rid of them. So instead you store them in an old shoe box,in the back of your closet, figuring that it doesn’t hurt to save them. Just in case you want to open the box and remember some of the good times.”
- “Because everything I do, every person I meet, puts a certain distance between Dex and me. Time heals all wounds, particularly if you pack a bunch of stuff into that time.”
- “Starbucks employees are consistently,freakishly chipper, even during the worst of morning rush hours when they have to deal with hordes of cranky people waiting impatiently for their caffeine fix.”
- “Over the past several days,when I have felt the beginning of this emotion tugging at my heart, it has crossed my mind that the key to happiness should not be found in a man. That an independent, strong woman should feel fulfilled and whole on her own. Those things might be true. And without Dex in my life, I like to think I could have somehow found contentment. But the truth is, I feel freer with Dex than I ever did when I was single. I feel more myself with him than without. “