The movie was better than the book. What?! How often do you hear that? But it’s unfortunately true (at least for me). I found it dragged on so much less than the book and the movie made the two most important changes for me.
1. It got rid of the million extra background characters and names. Each family had so many people and names to remember and retain, all with their own pointless and fragmented back stories that it was impossible for me to keep track of everything. If you add the wishy-wash, no point characters (like Nick’s random cousin at Araminta’s bachelorette party) it was all just way too much. But the movie cut out a lot of those extra and pointless characters and it made things a lot more enjoyable and easier to follow.
2. They turned Astrid into a badass. She was supposed to be this amazing, high powered, sophisticated woman in the books but came across as so passive, eager, and ready to take all the blame for her husband’s fake affair. Movie Astrid had a backbone and stood up for herself – willing to take some of the blame but not completely ignore the fact that her husband was sleeping with another woman. Awesome. The movie also got rid of the ridiculousness of the fake part of the affair. Sadly they also got rid of Astrid’s long-ago ex boyfriend who still secretly loves her.
Rachel was a little more annoying in the movie than the book, however. While I thought she didn’t seem emotionally invested enough in the book, when it came to everyone bad mouthing her loudly while standing right next to her, I thought she was a little too whiny in the movie when it came to the exact same thing. Am I being too picky? Probably.
But I’d recommend watching the movie if you have two hours to kill. It was fantastic that the cast was almost entirely Asian (especially female) because hell, who doesn’t love the representation. It was obvious why the book and movie were both praised, though. They were both interesting enough, and the movie definitely did a good job of cutting the things I didn’t enjoy in the book.
It was a fun watch, and as I said about the book, I’d read/watch the second one, too. Give it a watch if you’ve been on the fence about it!