Having read the book and watched the movie, it became overwhelming clear that the movie really smoothed off the rough edges of the book to make it a sleeker, more mainstream teem comedy that is appropriate for all. Lots of the aspects that made the characters real were lost in the movie, much to my disappointment. You don’t get to see Bianca’s recovering alcoholic father, or Wesley’s grandma who doesn’t approve of him and the sister who’s respect he tries to earn or the things that made the characters human. The book is a lot messier which is why I feel it is a more accurate depiction of life. Life is messy, especially the lives of teenagers. My life is messy at times so I want to read about and watch films about characters who also have messy lives. In the film Bianca is much more perfect, yes she’s not that girly but she’s smart and makes sensible choices. Book Bianca is so much more realistic and human, however I must say that I loved Mae Whitman’s portrayal of Bianca as I felt she fit the role perfectly because she was witty and funny without even trying. Everyone in the movie was more cliché, from the stupid playboy jock to the popular mean girl dating him. In the book, there is no mention of Wesley being a jock and he certainly isn’t stupid.
The other aspect I preferred about the book was the secondary characters. Obviously I am aware of the fact it is very hard to include everyone in a under 2 hour film, however I was disappointed by the lack of Bianca’s friends, especially in comparison to the book. And what was going on with Madison? Were the producers just desperate for another cliché? Despite being such a stereotype and not existing in the book, Madison became more important than Jess and Casey in the film which just wasn’t on for me. Part of the reason I loved the book was because of her complex relationships with others.
However when looking at the movie, the obvious advantage of getting to watch the gorgeous Robbie Amell and at times without shirts cannot be ignored! The actors and actresses in the movie were what I think really brought this film from a decent film to a really enjoyable afternoon out with the girls and one I will definitely be buying on DVD. As I said in my movie review, Robbie and Mae had such great chemistry together and had me constantly cracking up while also having the ability to do serious, more emotional scenes. The rest of the cast were also pretty good and really brought the movie to life for me.
After leaving the cinema, I described this film as one of the best movies I’ve seen in quite a while, yet whilst looking at the book I don’t understand because it is basically the worst parts of truly awesome book. This results in a pretty good film but leaves you with a way better book. Overall, I would just say I’m glad I saw the movie first, as I definitely think reading the book first would have ruined the movie. I did enjoy the movie, even though it was cliché and less realistic, however in comparison to the novel, it’s pretty bad. I think, to allow myself to enjoy both, I am going to completely separate the two in my mind and treat them as if they are unrelated to each other. This will allow to enjoy enjoy the cheesy but fun movie and the hilarious, but thought provoking novel.