Book vs. Movie: Nine Perfect Strangers

Book vs. Movie is a feature here at JenniElyse. I do a side-by-side comparison of the book and movie (or tv show) and which I like better. There may be minor spoilers.

As I said in my review of NINE PERFECT STRANGERS, I was really excited to read the book because I love Liane Moriarty. I ended up really liking the book. I connected strongly with a few of the characters and I thought Moriarty did a great job of writing about depression, suicide, suicidal ideation, grief, psychedelic therapy, and the way we deal with trauma and setbacks in our life. I did think some of the plot was a little far-fetched, but the story and the characters were so compelling that I didn’t care.

I decided to watch the Hulu series with Corey because we were both such huge fans of the HBO production of Moriarty’s BIG LITTLE LIES. I didn’t tell him anything about the book when we started the first episode. We binge-watched all eight episodes in two sittings.

I thought that Melissa McCarthy was the perfect Frances Welty and that it was fun to see her real-life husband play Paul Drabble. I also really liked Samara Weaving as Jessica, Bobby Cannavale as Tony, and Manny Jacinto as Yao. I hated that Nicole Kidman was cast as Masha at first. She grew on me, though, especially the Hulu version of Masha which was very different from the book version of Masha. I didn’t like what they did to Carmel’s character. Regina Hall did a great job as Carmel; I just really hated the changes to her character. Everyone else was fine.

The Hulu series is SO different from the book that even though I knew the main story, I was mostly in the dark the entire time. I understand why the story was changed. Most books are when they’re adapted for the screen. I just don’t get why NINE PERFECT STRANGERS was changed as much as it was. View Spoiler »

I did like how the show explored depression, suicide, suicidal ideation, and grief. I think the psychedelic therapy aspect of the story was handled a little too cavalierly for my taste in the show vs. how Moriarty wrote about it in the book.


The Hulu production is so different from the book, but the spirit of the story’s still the same. Most of the time, books are way better than their adaptations. In this instance, I think that’s still true. While the series was good and the actors were phenomenal, I think the original way Moriarty wrote the story is the better way.

Have you read NINE PERFECT STRANGERS? Have you seen the Hulu series? Do you like the book or the series better?

About Jenni Elyse

Hi, I'm Jenni. I’m an eclectic reader. I mostly read fiction and I favor fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, mystery, thrillers, and romance. The more kissing in a book the better!
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10 replies
  1. Greg
    Greg says:

    Good grief I’m so behind I didn’t even realize there was a show version of this. Or maybe I did and forgot. I loved Big Little Lies too (show and book) so am curious…

    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      I understand. There’s so much to keep up with in terms of book adaptations. If you do read the book and watch the show, I’ll be curious to know what you think of both.

    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Lol. I understand. A lot of people liked the series better than the book and a lot of people didn’t like either. I liked the book so I recommend it more than the series, but the series was still pretty good.

    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      If you couldn’t get into it, I don’t know if reading the book will help. A lot of people said they didn’t like this book or series. You may just be one of those, which is okay. 🙂

  2. Louise Hallett
    Louise Hallett says:

    I am so out of date on pop culture that I haven’t heard of the book or the TV series. I love being inside the head of a book character, feeling their emotions and understanding their motivations which is why I usually enjoy the book more.

    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      I understand. I like being inside the head of a book character as well. I do enjoy screen adaptations of a lot of books, though, because I like seeing stories I love come to life.

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