As I posted last week, I recently finished reading Something Borrowed. Of course when I remembered there was a film version of the book, I went straight to Netflix to see if they had it available for instant streaming. Unfortunately, they don’t right now, but the search did prompt the appearance of the 2010 film The Romantics, in the results. The film features an all star cast (Katie Holmes, Anna Paquin, Josh Duhamel, Adam Brody, Elijah Wood, Dianna Agron, Candice Bergen etc.) and was based off and directed by the author of the novel, Galt Niederhoffer.
As you may have noticed in the title of this entry, I’m not necessarily urging you to go watch this movie. It’s a maybe one. I read the book a few years ago, (actually I think it was summer 2010 when I was living at home after college graduation.) I was intrigued by the idea that it might have some kind of similarities to The Big Chill since it’s basically about a group of tight knit friends from college with an incestuous dating history. They’ve reunited for the wedding of Tom (Duhamel) and Lyla (Paquin), though everyone is painfully aware of how awkward the event is for the maid of honor Laura (Holmes,) who’s never gotten over her own relationship with Tom.
I of course love any opportunity to see Brody grace the big-screen, and it’s impossibly hard for me to separate Paquin from my memories of watching her in Fly Away Home. Tripler (played by Malin Akerman) is just as crazy on screen, as I imagined her character in the book. (She may have been my favorite part!) The landscape and scenery of the film is outrageously gorgeous, and the music was a welcomed addition of brilliance. Since the film was directed by the author, I can’t really dispute that the translation wasn’t done properly. I will say, reading the novel left an awkward taste in my mouth. I was anxious wondering if the movie would leave that same feeling, but somehow it didn’t? Maybe it’s because so much time has passed between the reading and the watching. The story takes place over a period of about twenty-four hours as the friends arrive at the family house the night before the wedding. If you haven’t read the book, and don’t really know what to expect than I could see how the film would be majorly disappointing. At least with the book you get a lot more of the back story, and insight into the (somewhat twisted) nature of the characters. The bourgeois air about Lyla’s family and her mother’s ridiculously smothering control tendencies.
I’m actually kind of indifferent to this film. It wasn’t one I’d jump to say I didn’t like, but I didn’t exactly “enjoy” it either. Also, my curiosity to see how it unfolded, and whether or not the ending was super ambiguous would win over any hesitation I might have had to turn it off. I’m curious if any of you out there read the book and then watched this movie, and what your take on the two are? Share with me in the comments, please!
Also, for your viewing pleasure here’s a trailer of the film: