Thursday, September 29, 2005

Actually accomplishing things today

Like reading: I know I'm totally behind on the whole Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants phenomena, but I'm totally on board now. Yes, it is technically, a young-adult novel, but it was fabulous just the same. (I don’t see much point in being snobby about what you’re reading anyways… who cares who it was meant for, if it was obviously meant for you?)
And it was excellent – well written and thoughtful, none of that “oh, it’s for teenagers, so we have to hit them over the head with lessons and meaning RIGHT NOW” crap that makes people leery of reading young adult fiction. Instead, it was smart and funny, interesting, perceptive and quirky. The story is about a group of teenage girls, all interesting and individual characters on their own, who have a strong and firm friendship. The Pants wind up being a symbol of their bond, as they spend their first summer apart.
I have no longing for my own teenage years, but the friends I had then are a different story. There’s something about that bond that Brashares manages to portray so realistically that you find yourself reaching for the phone or heading to, in the hopes of tracking your own friends-from-then down.

And now I’m wondering about the movie: Did it do the book justice? (Do they ever?) I’ll be heading over to IMDB, but I think it got pretty good reviews.

This has me thinking about movie versions of books, good and bad.
Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

Books I had hard time reading, but enjoyed the movies:
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood

Both movie/book were excellent:
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Green Mile
The Shawshank Redemption
The Harry Potter
Little Women (both the classic and the newer versions)
The Stand (a T.V. movie, but still)

Movies that had only the barest resemblance to the books that birthed them:

Jurassic Park (What was going on there? As far as I could tell, the only thing the same was that they both had dinosaurs.)

Stephen King’s Lawnmower Man (Which had some freaky special effects, but a totally different story line than the book)
Shrek (Although I liked the movie version a lot, it wasn’t really based on the children’s books by William Steig, as far as I could tell.)

And a few more I’m kind of afraid of seeing, in case they don’t live up to some great books:

The Polar Express
Pride & Prejudice
(a new version comes out this season)

And one I’m hoping will be better than the book:
The Da Vinci Code (which I was not that impressed with, but everybody seems to like it) I know I'll come up with some more, but until then, how about you guys: Got some best, worst, afraid-to-sees? Let me know

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