Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'd Rather He Lived In My Head

I had a rare block of free time this weekend, and I wanted to do two things I never do: go to a makeup counter at Nordstrom's and beg someone do something with my face (inspired by those ubiquitous Mad Men makeovers) and/or go see a movie in an actual movie theater. Well, I got the face done (green eyeshadow--seriously, not so bad if it's the right shade!), but when it was time to choose a movie I was stumped. My first choice, 500 Days of Summer, wasn't playing anywhere near the mall. The next two in line, The Time Traveler's Wife and Julie & Julia, were, um, problematic...

I've read The Time Traveler's Wife three times. I want to live in that book. Henry is like, my Edward--I'm borderline obsessed with the character. I know exactly what he looks like, and it isn't Eric Bana (put a photo of Eric next to one of Corey Feldman--separated at birth, no?). To me, TTW was punk rock, and the movie trailer, well, showed a whole lot of easy listening. Does that make it a bad film? I guess I can't judge yet, but it makes me cringe to think that people who haven't read the book yet will go and assume TTW was written by Nicholas Sparks. So, even though the showtime fit my schedule perfectly, it was a no.

Julie & Julia was my final option (Couldn't do GI Joe. Could not.) Now, I've read both Julie Powell's book and My Life in France, but I didn't have the blood connection to those books as I did to TTW. And, with Nora Ephron directing, how could I go wrong? She's pretty much incapable of making a movie that isn't a crowd pleaser, but...

I couldn't do that film either. I guess because I knew the punchline. Julie Powell's book was very personal, and reading it was like peering into someone's diary, so I kind of felt I'd lived the experience with her already and I wasn't up for a repeat. I also saw, before she stopped talking about it, an interview with Julie during which she discussed problems in her marriage, a relationship portrayed onscreen as perfectly supportive and loving. I couldn't deal with the disconnect. If the movie was a bio pic of Julia Child's rise to fame, I might have done it. Instead, I hung out in the Barnes & Noble cafe' until it was time for me to head home.

I'm a a total loser? Too picky? Overthinking things? Yeah, probably all three. But, don't get me wrong--I really wanted to sit in the same spot for two hours, eat popcorn, and lose myself to another world. I just couldn't handle being disappointed.

Now, so you don't think I'm a Negative Nellie, I'm desperately trying to come up with movies that were as good or better than the books that inspired them. I think I'm the only person on the planet who's actually read The Graduate; the book was a bit perplexing, but the movie is probably my favorite of all time. And I guess the aforementioned Sparks did better onscreen with The Notebook, and...um...I can't think of anymore. Can you guys?


  1. Ok, don't hate me but I didn't love the Time Traveler's Wife. Laura is obsessed. Me? Not so much.

    But I did love the movie The Notebook, and I didn't like the book. I also liked The Green Mile better on film, but that might be because it was published as a serial novel.

  2. The Green Mile is a great example!

    Is Laura going to see the film version of The Time Traveler's Wife? If yes, I want to hear what she thinks!

  3. In the same vein as GM, I'd like to go out on a limb and say that STAND BY ME (one of my favorite films) is better than King's novella THE BODY. But not by much. The movie could have been worse, if it wasn't casted completely perfectly. Ironically, most King films end up being total crap compared to the books...

    And although Emma is my favorite Jane Austen story, and I do love the movie with Gwen Paltrow, but I LOVED Clueless in a completely different way than I loved the book, so that one's close.

  4. I totally agree re: Stand by Me. And Clueless is one of the best adaptions ever! I've seen it more times than I can count!

  5. I have yet to read The Time Traveler's wife, but our bookclub is reading it this month. I loved the films Green Mile and (don't shot me) Marely and Me. Didn't like either of those books.

  6. Hey, Tabitha! I've stayed away from Marley and Me, but I really have no idea why. I'll give it a shot.

    Let me know what you thought of The Time Traveler's Wife. I totally jealous you're reading it for the first time!

  7. Oh, I so wished you went to Julie and Julia ... I wanted to hear your review! :-) I have to admit ... I really want to see that one! :-)

  8. Well, this is an old post but I had to comment anyway, cause I just found your blog and so I didn't see it when you first wrote it!
    I love "Time Travelers Wife" and laughed at what you said about Henry being your Edward! I've said that too. I read it and I loved it so much I had my husband read it to me again! Super Romantic! I didn't see the movie either, because just from the trailer, I could tell they changed too much about it!
    I also started drinking coffee again (I had kicked the habit since I had my kids) because it was so sexy when he drank coffee, I had to have some! Now I'm addicted again, but sometimes when I pour myself a cup, I think I'm having a little of my Henry!

    Love your Blog,
    I read your post about "One Day", I had looked at it before but wasn't sure if it was going to be good. Do you recommend it?