Let’s talk about some of the notable difference between the book and the movie version of The Sun Is Also A Star.
- Daniel’s Best Friend
In the film, a new character, Omar, is added. He doesn’t say or do much, I don’t think his name is even uttered, but he does take part in setting up a different way for Daniel to take notice of Natasha.
As noted in the movie review, Natasha in the book and movie are night and day. In the book, Natasha barely gives Daniel the time of day until Jeremy gives her some sense of hope. Also, she matches every romantic or poetic thing he says with a challenge or eye roll early on. Heck, even when she has clearly fallen for him, she still is a bit annoyed, or finds him ridiculous, but takes it as an adorable flaw to put up with.
Also, Natasha in the book is a major nerd – especially in regards to sci-fi. This is on top of being someone who loves 90s grunge rock and whose phone case has the Nirvana “Nevermind” cover art on it.
Like Natasha, Samuel gets decimated in the movie version. For while they maintain him and Natasha being far closer in the past than they are now, they take away all that made their relationship complicated. There is no noting of how he left for America before the rest of his family, dreams of grandeur, like becoming an actor, are stripped away. Thus leading to why, in the book, ICE found out about him, a DUI, being gone.
Which drains Natasha’s story of its depth since her complicated relationship with her father, alongside her immigration status, is what made Natasha someone beyond Daniel’s love interest. Also, one of the final moments between them, in which she confronts him noting he regrets Patricia and their kids, that is gone thanks to this change in character.
While Charlie is still an ass, he is annoying older brother type of ass. Not someone who has seemingly hate Daniel for years and wants to completely devoid himself from being Korean. Also, him failing out of Harvard is erased and, in the movie, he ends up giving Natasha the phone number of his brother not because of the trouble it could cause, but to be nice. He even tells Natasha, in the movie, not to break his brother’s heart.
While Patricia didn’t even get her own chapter in the book, with Samuel not having the issues and sense of grandeur the book has, she is reduced to being a happy wife. One who met her husband in Montego Bay after a rainstorm led him into the store she was managing at the time.
The whole Hannah storyline is gone, which gets rid of Jeremy not being able to speak to the judge since he was having an affair. Though in the film, he isn’t even married, never mind with kids, so he couldn’t have an affair anyway. Also, his last name is changed from Fitzgerald to Martinez. On top of that, rather than Daniel meeting with him to get a recommendation for Yale, instead, the interview is to get into Dartmouth.
- How And Why Natasha and Daniel Split Apart
In the book, Natasha and Daniel break apart when she reveals she isn’t from America, and he acts like Natasha hasn’t hinted the whole day to not fall in love with her. When it comes to the movie, this isn’t as big of a deal and, on top of that, they end up going to the Museum of Natural History together before they split.
Peter is changed to be undocumented like the rest of the family and not American born.
- Daniel’s Interview
On top of Daniel now trying to get into Dartmouth, and Jeremy not lusting after his paralegal, his interview is modified in the form of him not getting to know Natasha not getting to stay alone. I won’t reveal how this was altered so that the movie’s ending isn’t given away. However, I will say…
- The Movie’s Ending
Let’s just say the movie’s ending, with Irene not in the film, is not the same. Also, for better or worse, it doesn’t end on an ellipsis.
- Daniel Volunteers Now
Rather than Natasha being the one who volunteers at a hospital, Daniel now does, twice a month, in the Bronx. Alongside play soccer and a whole bunch of other extracurricular activities.
- Pretty Much All One Chapter Characters, Or Those Who Didn’t Get A Chapter, Outside of The Leads’ Mothers
Rob is completely, and understandably, deleted when it comes to the film, and of course Natasha. Surprisingly, in a less religious form, the Conductor is still in the book, but with him being the trigger for why Daniel followed Natasha, he couldn’t be deleted. However, like Rob, the place where Daniel and Natasha first spoke, “Second Coming Records” is also not in the film.
Filling out the rest of the omitted, Irene isn’t in the film, nor the book’s ending which includes her, and Donald Christiansen, who hit Jeremy and nearly missed Natasha, he isn’t named in the book either. Also, Bev might be seen, but she isn’t named or texted in the film. The Waitress isn’t seen at all, despite Daniel taking Natasha to the norebang (karaoke) place still, and Joe isn’t in the movie. Meaning the rooftop scenes are also omitted.
- Dae’s Background
While his and Min’s immigration is noted, alongside why they got into the haircare business, Dae’s background, being part of a family of fishermen is omitted.
- The Love Questions
While starring at someone for four minutes is included, but not in the cab, a lot of the love questions are gone thanks to the issues Daniel and Natasha have with their parents in the book not existing in the movie.
Did we miss any other notable parts of the book? Comment down below.