Yesterday we talked about films that are so bad they’re good. You guys added some good ones in the comments: Muriel’s Wedding is Toni Collette’s finest hour if you ask me and even though it’s not strictly a dance movie, Bring it On definitely deserves an honorary mention in this genre. As far as expectations go, these films are pretty low stakes. You want to be entertained, to have fun, to laugh and get Abba songs stuck in your head. The opposite of this experience has to be when you see a film based on one of your favorite books.
I caught the trailer for Water for Elephants online yesterday. I only recently read the book and I enjoyed it, so I like the idea of getting to continue my time is Sara Gruen’s excellently crafted Depression-era circus world via the film. For me this is the perfect book to film experience because while I liked the book, I didn’t love the book so much that I will feel in some way betrayed if the movie doesn’t live up. I’m sure there are many people who will have extremely passionate opinions on everything from the casting to the score to the inevitable changes that will have to be made to bring this very widely loved book to film, and you can count of hearing about them come April.
I have been meaning to see the film version of my very favorite novel Never Let Me Go since it came out but I find myself with trepidations; despite the fact that Ishiguro consulted on the film and I totally dig the choice of Carrie Mulligan for Kathy. If you’ve read it, you know that it’s both beautiful and terrifying and maybe I just don’t trust anyone but the man himself to take me into such a place. Or maybe as much as I love the book, I just don’t want to go through the heartbreak of that story again. I will probably see it eventually, as I did Atonement and The House of Sand Fog: similarly life-changing reads for me and very well done, excellently cast films.
One of the great things that happens when a book becomes a movie is that a whole bunch of people go out and buy that book. A couple of years ago when the film version of Love in the Time of Cholera came out, seeing the posters everywhere in New York reminded me that I’d never gotten around to reading any Marquez (of whom I am now a huge fan). The mere existence of the movie turned me on to him despite the fact that I never did see the thing (I heard it was terrible). Movies give books a life they would have trouble achieving on their own being just books. So while I have ambivalence about
’s handling of any great novel, I am always pleased that it will surely bring the book new readers. Hollywood
How do you feel when a book you love hits the big screen?