This was, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the best movie/tv version of this book I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen some valiant efforts and none of them have been successful. Why? Have you read the books? They’re a bit intangible sometimes.
For such….difficult source material to work with (And I don’t mean that as a slight. I love the books, find them incredibly good for the imagination. But we can all agree it’s not a cookie cutter coming of age movie where a teen girl takes off her glasses and a hot guy now likes her then end.) this was a well-balanced effort. They made choices on where they were just going to ask the audience to get on board with something that sounds like nonsense and when they were going to take the time to really get our buy in.
Storm Reid was great for the role. First, she isn’t a twenty-something year old pretending to be a kid. Second, she was very relatable. Third, I want to say good role model or natural but really I wanna say thank goodness we let her look nerdy with big hair and normal clothing.
Oprah. Man guys, I kinda wish Oprah hadn’t acted in this. It just felt like you couldn’t escape her when she was on-screen in a bad way. Mrs. Which got lost in Oprah being Oprah and it annoyed me.
Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling, on the other hand, felt well cast. Gads I love Mindy and the role felt right for her. And Reese being so light colorful without being sexualized was refreshing.
Zach Galifianakis was, shockingly, not bad at the role. I mean, I wish they had gone with someone different because I was constantly aware it was him but at least he felt okay in the role.
Chris Pine felt awkward. I’m not even sure what my complaint with him was. He, objectively, did a good job. It may just be that I didn’t feel the chemistry with the rest of the cast or that his character lacked development because of the plot.
The costumes and the settings were stunning. Man, I wish I had grown up with this movie as an option because the colors and the possibilities for Halloween and room decorating and coloring books, gah I’m jealous.
Verdict: 4/5 If you go into it knowing the source material and how hard it can be to get it right then you’ll find this a beautiful, enjoyable movie. If you don’t level set expectations then the cons are going to eclipse all the pros.