Dec 29, 2010

The Book is ALWAYS Better than the Movie

Earlier this fall I read My Sister's Keeper which I really enjoyed and today Nichole and I watched the movie. Now admittedly we were also chatting a little and barcoding merchandise for her shop but we watched it more than we did the other things.


I like Cameron Diaz, Alec Baldwin and Abigail Breslin. And I loved the storyline. But I have to tell you - I did not love the movie. It was OK and if I hadn't read the book I probably would have really liked the movie.

Here are the sins committed by the flick:
  • Dramatic changing of the end. Imagine if a movie about the 2004 Red Sox included just a 5 game series against the Yankees instead of a nail-biting 7 game series. I mean...what? That's not even the same story.
  • Missing romance. Actually the least sinful of the sins but they did leave out an entire character and the love story revolving around her. The love story wasn't critical to the plot but to entirely leave it out, well, that's a bit much.
  • Big bro was all messed up. In the book he's a very troubled teen. Always drunk or high and with a tendency toward arson, which is especially poignant since the dad is a firefighter. In the movie he's just a sad kid with a stressed family and a sick sister.
  • Again, the ending. Just not OK.
To be objective, and to invoke the TriDelta tradition of "pro-con-con-pro" and attempt to end on a pro, here is what the movie did well.
  • Playing up a romance. The love tryst of Kate (the sick sister) and her also sick boyfriend, Taylor, had many more legs in the movie. I think this worked well.
  • Casting. The lawyer (Alec Baldwin), mom (Cameron Diaz), Anna (Abigail Breslin) and the dad (actor non remembered) were all cast really well. I wonder if Cameron Diaz is bummed out that she is now being cast for mom roles and not hot girl-next-door roles. Oh well, she did a good job.
Verdict: Read the book, don't bother with the movie.


janieliz19 said...

Really liked this book so the movie really annoyed me. Aside from the obvious error of changing the ending (!!!!!) it also made me sad that you kind of lost the voice/viewpoint of the book in the movie.

Cheryl said...

Agreed. And while I liked the beefed up romance, which you couldn't have done from the book POV, I think I would have sacrificed it for the movie to be more from Anna's perspective.