I haven't read the book. In fact, I don't think I'd even heard of the book until I started hearing about the film, but I do intend to read it now. I think the film was very good. I'd be interested to hear what people who've read the book think of it, but I really did think it was a good film.
It's not a cheerful film, though, which I feel someone should have warned me about. I'm fine with seeing grim films, generally I can't stand bright and cheerful films. Seeing the trailer, I thought it would be a film about slightly unusual, maybe slightly damaged, teenagers, but overall it would be a positive film. You know, one of those films where the teenagers are deep and have angst, but everything turns out all right in the end. It's not quite like that. In fact, it's essentially two hours of unrelenting misery with a couple of funny bits thrown in. Although we did seem to be the only people in the cinema who were laughing. To be fair, though, there were less than ten other people there and maybe none of them got the funny parts.
Even without having read the book, I feel Emma Watson was woefully miscast and it's a shame that the first thing she's really done post-Potter is something that makes her look such a bad actress. That sounds mean, I know, but I wasn't watching the character of Sam, I was watching Emma Watson talking in a weird voice. Logan Lerman was good, eventually. I've only seen him in the Percy Jackson film before, which didn't seem to require any acting of him, and though the same could be said for a lot of this film (he looks slightly baffled, slightly sad or slightly happy during the first three-quarters of the film), he really comes into his own towards the end and delivers a quite impressive performance. Every single person in the film, however, is totally eclipsed by Ezra Miller. He was magnificent. In fact, now I'm certain I'll find the time to sit down and watch the film adaptation of We Need to Talk about Kevin.
If you're after something bright and fun and light-hearted, this film is not for you, but otherwise it's very good and well worth seeing.
I knew I wasn't going to use the title again.