Here it is.

I thought this book was dumb when I read it in high school (something like twelve years ago, frowny-face) and I thought the movie was dumb when I saw it a few days ago. This dumbness was for varying reasons–even though the book was clearly written for oversmart, undersexed teens (i.e. right in my high school wheelhouse), I thought the characters were almost uniformly repellant, downright sociopathic, and their utterly singleminded focus on sex wasn’t anything like the perspective of my peer group.

Maybe I knew the wrong people. Maybe I was the wrong person, if I’m allowed to use the past tense on that one. But the thing about smart kids is they tend to be interested in a stupid amount of smart shit, and however heavily sex may have suffocated our brains, we spent a lot of time thinking and talking and doing other things, too. Even, sometimes, homework.

A couple of my friends did like the book, but even as a freshman I found it sophomoric.

After seeing the movie, which preserved the exasperating and overwhelming selfishness and singlemindedness of the characters, I walked out thinking “Gosh, the plot wasn’t anything like the movie at all.” Then I did a little research, which I understand writers who care do sometimes, and found out the plots were nearly identical. Shows how well the book stuck with me.

That really crippled the movie, though. The book is a tome. It’s 544 pages. In stomping all that material into fewer than 100 minutes of cinema, it robbed the central romance of the time it needed to be emotionally significant. I’m starting to repeat my review here, but this movie barely clung to the slippery edge of its C- rating. Once you drop down into the Ds, it’s hard to properly call whatever you’ve made a “movie.” At that point it can better be termed “a confusing and regrettable waste of what little jerk-off time I have left these days.”

Also: please take a different role, Michael Cera. You’re a multimillionaire movie star, and as such I find it increasingly impossible to believe you as an awkward, friendless virgin. It worked a few times, and may be worth revisiting later, but for now it’s time to find something new. You probably shouldn’t be taking career advice from someone who doesn’t have one, but I’m not the only one who feels that way.

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I am a Science Fiction and Fantasy author, based in LA. Read More.
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