I was a big fan of Jumpra Lahiri's book of short stories The Interpreter of Maladies, but much less so her first novel, The Namesake. The movie shares all the weaknesses of the novel, I thought. It was too episodic and too much a generic view of coming to America. It could have been any immigrant experience.
The acting was very fine and Mira Nair is a talented director. It also looked good, but it lacked an overall arc unless you count Gogol's troubles with his name. I also didn't think his first name would have been that unusual among his American when paired with his last name.
The most successful part of both the novel and the movie was the depiction on his parent's marriage. I found that by far the most compelling part, especially the isolation his mother experiences and how it plays out in a tragedy.
What did you think?