The Wedding Date: Books to Film

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Readers have long held a love-hate relationship with movies that are created from their favorite books. Sometimes the big screen versions capture what we love about a book, and sometimes they break our hearts.

Sometimes, we read the credits while hoovering up the last of our popcorn, and are shocked to discover said film was adapted from a relatively unknown book. It’s like finding a diamond in the rough!

That’s exactly what happened to me with The Wedding Date starring Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney. No, not the one with Julia Roberts. Or Sandra Bullock. This one:

The movie itself didn’t get rave reviews (cough). But if you’re home sick or stranded in a blizzard, it is a perfectly acceptable way to spend some quality couch time. Messing’s character is preparing to travel to England for her perfect sister’s wedding. She desperately doesn’t want to show up without a date, so she hires an escort. Hilarious drama ensues!

That enjoyable movie was based on the book Asking for Trouble by Elizabeth Young. In the original story, the characters and setting are set completely in England. Months ago Sophy invented “Dominic”, the perfect boyfriend, to put off an overly concerned mother. Poor AskingforTrouble“Dominic” was conveniently busy every time his presence was required at her parents’ home in the countryside. So, when her angelic younger sister has a whirlwind courtship and engagement, Sophy is expected to bring Dominic home for the wedding.

So, Sophy hires an escort and takes Josh-Dominic to the wedding, which goes off without a hitch. Except for the fact that Sophy is starting to like Josh a little more than she should. Everything seems to go well, until they learn that the bride has left her new husband, Paul.  Paul, in an act of prickliness, ferrets out  Josh’s identity. Now that the truth is exposed, it seems like no one will have a happy ending.

Asking for Trouble is a delightful, quirky romp. Sophy is endearing and neurotic, a perfect size 12 in a world of perfect size 10s. The banter between Sophy and Josh kept me turning the pages late into the night. The romantic comedy nature of the near misses and misunderstandings were all spot on yet also somewhat unpredictable. Young’s voice throughout the book is witty, sarcastic and a true treasure.

Here’s a bantery bit from the drive to the wedding, just after Sophy and Josh/Dominic meet.

As I switched the ignition off, he gave an exasperated “tut.” “You’ve made a pig’s ear of that, haven’t you?”

I gaped at him. “What?”

“Just look how you’ve parked.”

I’d driven in front first, and if it was a half a degree off the parallel with the cars on either side, that was all. “Would you kindly keep your nitpicking to yourself? I can do without it!”

“Darling, you never park straight.” He added a noble, patient sigh. “How many times have I told you to reverse into a space?”

I was so desperate for light relief, I almost laughed. “Oh, I get it. Now we’re playing games.”

“Dress rehearsal.” He added a little wink. “Like all good actors, I’m getting into my role well before the first performance.”

“The only performance.” I exited and locked the door. “And you’re playing the wrong part. Dominic doesn’t backseat-park.”

“Of course he does. He’s a thrilled-with-himself, self-important prat who irritates the daylights out of you.”

“Not today he isn’t. He’s a paragon. Practically perfect in every way, just like this wedding’s going to be.”

“I admire your optimism.”

If you love British chick lit about girls with wobbly bits trying to find the perfect bloke, then this book is for you! You can even read a sample here.

Have you ever been surprised to discover a movie was based on a book? Or, have you ever told a white lie that ballooned out of control?

5 Responses

  1. I have an uncomfortable level of attraction toward Dermot Mulroney. Which did not improve this movie for me.

    The book sounds adorable, though!

  2. I forgot how much I LOVED that book. And I distinctly remember a marathon re-watching of the movie one rainy afternoon when no one was home but me. Even though the movie had some problems, I still thought it was delightful, especially considering the tall order of living up to that excellent book. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. The movie is fun, but I was sort of shocked that Dermot’s character was an actual gigolo. Ick. Not so in the book. Weird that they changed that aspect. Book is completely adorable – a fave of mine before the movie (as are E Young’s other books).

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