It is a rare and momentous occasion for someone like me to have watched a movie adaptation of a novel before actually reading the book. It may be no big deal for some but it has been an unwritten rule for myself and the tradition has never been altered since Day 1. Except for this.
Something Borrowed, a best-selling novel penned by Emily Giffin, is a story about a 30-year-old type A plain-Jane lawyer who happens to have an affair with her best friend's fiancé. Being the Maid of Honor in the ceremony and a life-long friend of the bride, conflicts arise as she works out her feelings about what she wants and what she is tasked to do. The movie adaptation was released early this May starring Ginnifer Goodwin, Kate Hudson, Colin Egglesfield and John Krasinski.
Having watched the movie first before reading the novel, it was surprising for me to find out that the film adaptation strayed farther than expected from the original plot, and it worked. The added plot ornamentations and character replacements worked quite brilliantly, as a matter of fact. Normally, these circumstances would have been a source of irritation when I watch the characters who have played in my head in different light, but this time, I thought the plot moved at a better pace and the characters were more likable on screen compared to their written form.
It is commendable how the screenwriter added a history between Rachel and Dex, making the affair much more reasonable. I think Ginnifer Goodwin did a terrific job portraying Rachel and made the choices she had more understandable to the viewing public. However, let it be said that John Krasinski absolutely stole the show, delivered all the best lines and almost single-handedly made the movie enjoyable to watch. The interesting thing about this is that his role isn't even that prominent in the book. Rachel's primary confidante about her forbidden relationship with Dex is actually female colleague. Which is unfortunate because it's Ethan's character that drove me to read the actual novel.
Speaking of novels, part two of this heartfelt and easy to read chic lit is Something Blue. We follow Darcy as she goes through her life with (spoiler!) the discovery of her best friend's treachery with her very own fiance and Marcus' baby in her womb. Told entirely in Darcy's shallow but endearing POV, we get a glimpse of the self-absorbed socialite Rachel has been ranting about during the previous book. Here we find out that there is more to the New York queen bee that meets the eye.
The only criticism I have about the novel is that it felt like the plot just started to take off halfway through the book when Darcy decides to head on to England and crash in her childhood friend Ethan's pad. The plot was fairly predictable, but that did not lessen the enjoyment one should get while reading the novel. As a slow and easily distracted reader nowadays, I finished my e-book copoy in less than 48 hours and loved every minute of it.
Something Borrowed and Something Blue. Two novels about romance gained and lost and the two ultimate forces that drives us all, love and friendship. Read 'em and weep.
Something Borrowed (Film Adaptation) : A-
Something Borrowed (Novel): B
Something Blue (Novel): A