Thursday, July 9, 2009

My Sister's Keeper

I"m not usually a fan of book to movie adaptations, and this film was no exception. I actually kind of hated it. It was willing you to cry at every possible moment, and granted it is a really sad story, but geez! The girl beside me was crying uncontrollably and blowing her nose extremely loud, which made me and my friend K start to laugh hysterically. It was an awkward moment, because who wants to be the girls hysterically laughing at a movie about a girl dying from cancer? That was us! I did tear up at some points, but for me, it was no Marley and Me sobfest. Marley and Me was another book to movie, but I thought they did an exceptionally good job. The characters had actual depth, and the story was one that most everybody could relate to. It was relatable and it was honest, especially about relationships (be it with a significant other or a pet), and I guess that why I liked it so much better. I digress.

The thing that bugged me the most about the movie version of My Sister's Keeper-

-SPOILER WARNING- that they changed the entire ending of the book. Changed it in such a way that it is the complete opposite of the ending in the book, and delivers a completely different message. Maybe it bugs me so much because I am a writer, but if I were Jodi Piccoult, I would be pissed! Here's something she spent months (I"m assuming) working on, intending her story to have a very specific ending, and the filmmakers completely disregard that. If you are going to adapt a story that somebody wrote, adapt the whole story! Granted, movies based on books are always slightly different than the story in the book, usually because the amount of information in a book is way more than you could possibly fit it a movie. I understand picking and choosing certain parts. But the ending? That seems like a pretty important part of the story!

There were also scenes in the movie that were so drawn out that it was ridiculous...if they had shortened some of those scenes (hello, how long can we spend at the beach??), they would have had an opportunity for more character development and a little more explanation behind the characters motivations. At the end of the movie they do this whole "where are they now" type of segment, which is fine, but they provide absolutely no back story as to why the characters are suddenly doing these things. It was like, "the dad has now quit his job as a firefighter and is teaching boxing to inter city youth", which, good for him, but why is he randomly doing that? There was no lead up in the previous part of the movie which would lead the audience to believe this was something the dad would even have a remote interest in doing. And the part about how the brother has now "turned his life around?" The movie never showed his life being messed up! In the book he was a pyro, but in the movie he was...just there, so when it showed him being all successful and whatnot, it was odd because the movie gave no reason for why he might not have been successful. End rant.

Now, I didn't particularly like the ending of the book, but I did think it presented an interesting perspective on the idea of fate and destiny, and the movie totally screwed with that. Not even screwed with it, but completely disregarded it. That's like taking the end of Gone With the Wind and making them live happily ever after!

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