(This article was first posted on shoujoinvestigation’s Tumblr. Some minor edits to spelling mistakes and stylisation are made in this updated version.
I’m crying because I can’t find some of the typos I noticed before now.)
I may not be your biggest fan of the franchise, but I’ve been wanting to finish off this overdue commentary which have been sitting in the drafts for months… This is a comparative commentary of the two live action adaptations, with knowledge of the novel as a basis. (I have read the book first, watched the drama, then the movie.)
Disclaimer: This commentary is fundamentally still coming from my own perspective and opinions. Differing opinions are welcomed but be nice!
The drama and movie have different focuses, each with their own strengths and flaws.
The drama worked better as a live action/lighthearted romcom, while the movie better as an adaptation.
[spoilers and long post ahead]
- The story’s title will be referred to as Love O2O
- Xiao Nai: XN / Wei Wei: WW
- Yang Yang: YY / Zheng Shuang: ZS / Jing Bo Ran: JBR / Angelababy: AB
Like a huge bulk of netizens, I saw the movie as gravely unpromising before its release. Most people have grimaced at this move to join the popular web novel’s franchise money-milking party which the drama was already in way before. Such adaptations also expectedly end up to be huge disappointments. The general sentiments were: AB’s acting is terrible, and JBR is not suitable as XN, especially when we were already promised YY’s XN.
LENGTH of the Story
The canon (novel) is already really short to start with. We got a lot of unnecessary fillers in the drama because it was the scriptwriters’ attempt to lengthen it into a 30-episode drama. While some addition of original content is good, we still got lots of toxic and draggy side-plots of silly people, gossip-mongers, bitches. The length and pacing for the movie is a blessing for any impatient ass (like me) or people who have already read the book (like me).
However, in my opinion, movies will more often than not, lose to dramas when it comes to romantic development. Indeed, the movie was unable to achieve the kind of attachment and engagement with the viewers the drama was able to build with the screen time and content of 30-odd episodes.
There were definitely much more details in narrative, such as WW + XN’s friendships with their roommates. (Personally, those were what made the drama to me.)
XIAO NAI: YY vs JBR
JBR’s portrayal and rendition of XN unexpectedly appealed to me. Indeed, not far from my expectations, JBR possesses too much of a “暖男 warm guy” image to be the ideal XN.