People Have One Major Complaint About The Girl On The Train

Photo: Courtesy of Universal Pictures.
The Girl On The Train premiered on October 7, and, despite loads of press, the world reacted with an unenthused "meh." I personally thought the film would be a milquetoast version of Gone Girl, while The New York Times called it a "preposterous movie." Anthony Lane, writing in The New Yorker asked, "Does it matter that the plot is so full of holes that you could use it to drain spaghetti?" So, yeah, reviews have been mixed. Plot holes and preposterousness aside, the film seems to have made one choice mistake: it was set in New York. According to Entertainment Weekly, a major criticism of the film has to do with its setting. Paula Hawkins's book is set in London, and critics of the film argue that London was an essential part of the story's appeal. Stuart Jeffries of The Guardian wrote, "Stopped trains, tepid white wine, sighing commuters...Paula Hawkins’s bestseller captured a very British world." Removed of those details, he argues, the story loses its appeal. David Sexton, writing in The Standard, thinks the location change makes the whole affair more upscale. He says, "[The film] transfers the locale to New York and takes it socially upscale too, moreover upping the alkie stakes by supplying the heroine Rachel with industrial quantities of vodka teated out of a water bottle rather than little stubbies of pre-mixed G&T.” It's difficult to determine whether these accusations stem from genuine criticism or a local bias — it's mainly U.K. residents that are up in arms about the change in location. Screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson told British GQ that they set the movie in America because of the difference in drinking cultures. "It's more of a drinking culture in England; it's not as shameful as it is here," she told the magazine. Regardless, Twitter ain't happy. Many Brits feel let down that a London-centric book jumped across the pond.

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