Book-to-Movie Law states that once you have read the book, you are bound by the media to go see the movie based on said book, and therefor compare to two.
Hmm. Would you believe me if I said I liked this movie? Because I did, genuinely. I think the cast for the movies is really starting to grow into their characters. They seem to be hitting their stride and the movies are getting better. Especially Rodrick (love Devon Bostick), his Mom (Rachel Harris is so great) and Rowley (I'll just say that Robert Capron does a good job). And I thought the romance translated much better to the big screen than it did in the book. This movie made me think that these series are each good on their own. Like, the books make a great series if you read them all as books. And the movies make a great series if you experience them only as movies. The movies are honest translations of the books. But if you watch the movies while reading the books, some of the inherent fun of the characters may be lost.
Needless to say, I am looking forward to the next movie in this franchise, Dog Days!
Bottom Line: As much as I know I should say the book was better, I think the movie was the winner in this one.