Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List | TeenreadsSign in. Mary Elizabeth Winstead takes a cue from her latest film Gemini Man to prepare her younger self for a life in Hollywood. Watch now. High-achieving high-school senior Dani Barnes dreams of getting into UC Davis, the world's top veterinary school. Then a glamorous new friend draws her into a Southern California scene that threatens everything she's worked for.
Book vs. Movie: Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List
Longtime best friends Naomi and Ely live in the same Greenwich Village apartment building with their mothers while attending New York University. But unlike Nick and Norah, Naomi and Ely come across as thoughtless and self-absorbed. Part of the problem may be that the authors rotate through the perspectives of numerous characters, including Ely's new boyfriend Naomi's ex and a fawning girl from Schenectady who seems to exist mainly to reinforce how cool Naomi is. These characters do not add much—with the exception of a vulnerable doorman who tries to connect with Naomi. Naomi's narration is peppered with tiny icons, which look trendy but can be hard for readers to decipher. These playful touches, however, may not be enough to hold the audience's interest until Naomi and Ely reach their own important conclusions about love. Ages up.
That being said, how does the film pull off the messy-by-design intricacies of its source material? The music, soundtracked by Deborah Lurie, is also very thoughtful. The cast is a real highlight, too — Victoria Justice is a great Naomi. She gets the frustration, sadness, and fear inherent to the character as much as the external confidence and snark. It also has a solid, layered grasp on the characters, particularly Naomi; both versions of the character include a need to resolve not only her conflict with Ely but t he distant relationship with her depressed post-divorce mother. In the book, his relationship with Bruce is a key part of his development as the two boys struggle to figure out how they can fit together. Despite all this, the movie version remains a strong hour-and-a-half of young adult yearning between two people who are trying to coexist in the middle of personal upheavals.