**If you want to read my review of the original novel, click here!**
This probably has a lot to do with the fact that John Irving wrote the screenplay himself, which of course makes you wonder why they don't ask the author to do that more often. Or maybe they do. Who knows?
There's a considerable paring down for the movie, as there has to be to get a five-hundred page novel into a movie of non-excessive length but I have to say, the cuts that Irving chose to make were excellent. A lot of characters and time disappeared (like Melanie and the fifteen-year lapse) - but it didn't hurt the story. Certain details were changed - but it made the story more plausible. One thing that I feared was that the abortion discussion would be toned down and it was, in the sense that we never had to hear about the gritty sound that a successful abortion makes or see some of the things that Irving describes, but a clear argument for abortion is still made.
Overall, it was a lovely story that maintained the integrity of the original while requiring less suspension of disbelief on the part of the viewer. It is probably one of the best book-to-film adaptations I've ever seen.