I will say, I liked the movie better than the book which is usually NEVER the case. But I think it has to do with the fact the Greg is more likable in the movie. As stated above, I felt he was annoying in the book, but the movie had him down a notch in his selfishness and it worked. He was more careless than selfish, making mistakes that he was too scared to admit to. And that I could relate to more than the other version of him.
As this is an adaptation review, here is my list of changes.
1) Holly Hills. She had a much bigger role in the movie than the mere mention of her in the books. I get it though. There needed to be a bit of young romance in this movie.
2) Heather Hills. Now this is one change I don't like. The took her from being a simple lifeguard Greg tries to impress to a spoiled brat that Roderick wan't to impress. I hated Heather and so no point to her except to show that Holly and Greg have one thing in common: older siblings that treat them like crap.
3) Nagging Parent. In the book, it's the mother that nags at Greg for not being active enough. In the movie, it's the father. I get it. Since part of the plot line was centered around father/son bonding, it was easier to make the father the nagger. But then this meant that Rachael Harris was reduced to cameo shots here and there just to remind us that there was a mother in the story.
4) No making money schemes. Since the whole mowing lawn story line drove me crazy in the book, I was glad they took this out in the movie. Instead, the smoothie bill comes at the end and Greg's father ends up reluctantly paying the over 200 dollar bill (P.S. it was 83 dollars in the book).
5) Greg and Rowley don't have a falling out. In the story, the two boys get into a fight and are mad at each other for part of the story. I kind of liked this plot line. It showed that you can fight with someone and still be friends afterwards. It's the test of a good friendship, is it not?
In the end, though, the movie stayed true to the core theme of the book: family, friends and summer fun.
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