Posted by james on June 25, 2009

(post.rating: 4)

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Man, what a weird movie this was. Such a huge buildup, but a pretty played-out topic with a huge splash of romance novel thrown in. I read the first two chapters of the book (out loud, no less) before watching the movie, so I had some idea of what to expect; not just with the plot, but also for the tone & style. The pacing was really off on this movie, with tons of time dedicated to awkward pauses and (supposedly) meaningful glances... and then a quick montage to skip past the "build the relationship" part. Absolutely no development there.

But the worst thing for this movie was the character direction, which pulled straight out of the book; tons of overacting, awkwardness, exageration, etc. I'm sure it hit home with the teenage girls that lived through this completely self-focused and overly dramatic time of their lives. A bit much for me.

So altogether, a throw-away film, which makes it completely surprising that it grossed so much. Even with all the fans of the book behind it, you would think even they would be turned off by the quality of the film. Despite my misgivings about the first film, I'm still curious about the second movie. I wouldn't go see it in the theater, but I might rent it for fun. I'm hoping it might be a bit better, due to a) less focus on the awkward get-to-know you stage of their relationship, and b) DIFFERENT director.