April 15, 2010

Of memoirs and movies

          A friend and I were recently discussing memoirs that are made into movies. And which actress we would want to portray us in the event (of course I mean, fantasy) our life ever made it to the big screen. My answer was Kirsten Scott Thomas. Her's was Amy Adams. I posed the question on my Facebook fan page. People apparently thought I was asking which Hollywood star they look most like. But just because you look like someone does not necessarily mean you would want them to play you in a movie.
          I am very strange about movies and books. If I have read a book (not just a memoir, but any book) and loved it, and it is or has been turned into a movie, I don't want to see the movie. Why? Because it won't live up to my interpretation of the book. There is no way it can. One of the things I love about reading is that you create a vision in your head of the people, places and events from the story. And that vision becomes part of what you love about the story. Seeing someone else's concept (especially if they are from Hollywood) has a very significant chance of being disappointing. Or worse. It can ruin the story for you entirely.
          On the other hand, if I see a movie that is based on a book I have not read and I enjoyed the movie, I will go out and buy the book. I know I will get much more out of the story in written form than I did on the screen. And since I liked the director's slant on the story, I can build on it in my own head as I read.
          Most people rush to see a movie that is based on a book they loved. Like I said, I am very strange. Or am I? Am I alone in my point of view? Tell me what YOU think...


  1. Actually, Elizabeth, if I really like a movie I may not want to read the book, since I will not be able to find my own vision of the story....and vice versa. For instance, I found the movie "Benjamin Button" to be sorely lacking in so many ways. BUT, when I realized the character had been created by my literary hero, Scott Fitzgerald, I RUSHED to the library to check out a book of his short stories so I could find "the truth" of this
    odd tale.

    I was not disappointed. It's a fabulous fantasy that made me laugh out loud. "Hollywood" should be utterly ashamed for making such a farce.

    On the other hand, after seeing "Lonesome Dove," I could not wait to read the book, which I found to be equally rewarding.

  2. In other words, I am strange. LOL That's OK. I can live with it. Thanks for your comments!

  3. I agree. I seldom want to see a movie of the books I've read -- except for the Harry Potter series. I think those were quite true to the book.


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