For Movie Monday this week I’m cheating a little and reviewing a book that was turned into a mini-series instead of a book that was turned into a movie. The Starter Wife by Gigi Levangie Grazer is a funny novel about Gracie Pollock, a woman who finds herself getting divorced just before the 10 year mark (apparently if you make it to the 10 year mark you get more alimony). Before the divorce she was a “wife of” with top status, lots of friends and hangers on, expensive clothes, expensive salon appointments and expensive everything. As a starter wife she loses that but gains back things more important than botox and highlights.
I can definitely see why this was turned into a mini-series rather than a movie. There’s a ton of characters, all with their own plotlines, and it just seems like it would be too much for just two hours. The mini-series trims a lot of fat from the book which is great because the book had a few boring parts that just seemed to drag on with no point.
There are a lot of differences between the book and the mini-series in terms of plot as well as characters. Book Cricket is a completely loving helicopter mom while mini-series Cricket has a nanny/translator for each kid- especially useful as not all of her kids seem to speak English and she doesn’t seem to speak their languages either. Jorge was barely in the book except as a plot point but his character gets a lot of screen time in the mini-series. The differences between book Kenny and mini-series Kenny were big also, he comes across as a jerk more in the mini-series.
I liked the mini-series better than the book; it was funnier and flowed better, giving all of the characters a chance to shine. The book dragged a little more than it should have and didn’t have the same spark as the mini-series- it was a little too heavy handed, as if Gigi Levangie Grazer just didn’t trust that her readers would get the message. Overall I would give the book a 3 and the mini-series a 4.