This isn’t something I say very often, but… I think this story was actually better as a movie than as a book! Like Eat, Pray, Love, the ending was changed a little for extra movie drama, but with that exception the book was followed pretty faithfully. I loved that the narration included direct quotes from the book! In my ideal world, every movie based on a book would be exactly like watching the book come to life and the direct quotes captured that feeling. I also have a soft spot for movies with funny narrators. The casting was great as well. Any characters that weren’t exactly as I pictured them, were even better then I imagined.
In addition to following the book pretty well, the movie eliminated a few of the problems I had with the book. The graphic details I didn’t like in the book had to be toned down for the movie, which both made me enjoy it more and diminished the feeling that the story was selling itself using sex and violence. And finally, I may just have to own up to being a literature snob on this one, because I think I expect less depth from movies then from books. It therefore bothers me less that the appeal of the story is witty dialogue and somewhat crude humor, instead beautifully crafted sentences or good world building.
What are your expectations of a book versus a movie? Do you have different criteria for picking a good movie?