The movie had nothing to do with the book other than borrowing the names. The movie was about living the high life and getting the girl. This is all well and good, but it is NOT what the book was about. The original novel was a statement on the absurdity of wealth and desire. Gatsby hated the parties he threw, he only hosted them to try and get in good with the old money who did not want him. He never realized that his attempt to get in by showing off his wealth and affluence were the exact thing keeping him out, his own crass and showy behavior. Once he got the girl, he wasn't even happy, he was sad that there was one less light in the district across the way, he realized that he had diminished it somehow.
Yes, the film adaptation, while bearable, does seem to be a failure because it does not have the same effect as the book. I feel that its to, flashy and glittery as compared to the original book.
The movie does contain good actors, and its OK if you've either not read the book, or haven't in a while, but its a failure in the sense of keeping the tone of the book.
This latest "Great Gatsby" film is only the latest in a series of at least four adaptations of the great novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Some books are just so good that no film version could ever be as good -- but that doesn't mean that it's necessarily bad either. With Luhrmann's unique visual style, this is the most distinct "Gatsby" film to date and may actually help generate interest in the book.