EG was in the middle of reading this book when we met. He lent it to me when he was done. We both dug it. While the characters aren't just like us, there are similarities. The girl is a redhead. The guy is incredibly cool. He doesn't understand how she can like the Eagles. (The band, not the football team.) They're into the Violent Femmes. They live in Chicago, EG's old stomping ground and where he took me on vacation the first summer we were together. (At which time I commented, "Don't think I don't know why you're bringing me here in August!") He's a bit older than she is and has led a bit less sheltered an existence.
I reread the book shortly after we got back together and was totally psyched to hear about the movie. I had high hopes based on the casting and was very disappointed on Friday to read bad reviews in both the New York Times and the LA Times. But we were in a packed theatre Saturday night anyway, admittedly with rather lower expectations than before the reviews came out.
I really like the way the movie is structured. The reviews make it sound like it jumps around in time a lot, but the chronology is actually quite straightforward. (Which makes it a bit different from the book, actually.) The film has also been pared down a bit from the novel. Almost everything that doesn't relate to the love story was left out, with the result that the length and pacing feel just right.
Also - I cried. This may not seem like a big deal, because girls do and we've mentioned me crying at a movie once before in this space, but there was a time, not long ago, when this was quite a rare occurrence and I'm still not one of those women who cries at everything. It was sweet, it was touching, it featured lots of naked Eric Bana...what's not to like? And the cinematography is beautiful. That's one things the critics got right. The book is better, so if you're a reader and you happen not to have caught this one, it's worth picking up. But it's a good movie and a damn good date movie, if your date means anything to you anyway. Critics be damned. Red gives it two thumbs up.