The movie starring Julia Roberts as the woman who packs up her job and marriage to travel in pursuit of balance mostly stays true to the book but has a tendency to stray off track in the smaller details. I suppose it made the pace faster even if it still turned out to be a movie that was 2.5 hours long in the cinema.
I’m not going to rehash the plot here since you can easily do that on IMDB . Besides after covering the book plot earlier in the blog covering the film plot as well would be pointless.
Instead I will stick to some observations that stood out.
1. It was rather interesting to see the relationship between Liz and her editor. I never expected authors would run to the houses of their editors for shelter during a marital breakdown.
2. It was also rather strange to see only the one Giovanni who was Sophie’s paramour throughout the movie. So it turned out they had disposed of the twin Italian tutors from the book.
3. They had completely written out the Italy visit from Liz’s inspiring sister.
4. They never bothered with Tutti saga where her mother faltered from buying the house until the very last minute until being told the money was going to be taken from her.
5. Felippe’s son visits him in the film and actually meets Liz and inspires his father to pursue her even if she’s regularly mean and nasty to him. This is no feature of the book.
All I have to say is the movie made me feel nothing – it dragged and felt long. It was not because I’d read the book because I’ve seen the film adaptations of print before and actually found enjoyment in it. Most surprisingly of all, for a film about the woman on the trail of self-discovery, it is the men (Billy Crudup, Richard Jenkins and Javier Bardem ) who stand out.
Creative methods of expression through the art of writing have always held my fascination. The following three projects certainly grabbed my attention for their ingenuity and so I shall share for the benefit of those who have the enthusiasm for things of this sort:
You might not know who Philip Thiel is (unless you read Frankie or were an attendee at the Emerging Writers Festival this year) but he plans to kiss 365 people of either gender in 2010 and document every kiss in his Livejournal account, 2010: A Year of Kissing People. I’m not sure if what he exhibits is bravery or madness but fortunately for him, his husband Julien is okay with this business. It is also worth looking at his back history of social literary projects that involve giving flowers, people following and writing two lines of iambic pentameter per day.
If reading about locking lips with strangers is not your cup of tea, 420 Characters might suit you better. Every story written by the author based on the ‘status updates’ of a popular social networking site is limited to 420 characters including punctuation, letters and spacing. It originally started out as an exercise in practising fiction for Lou Beach.
In keeping with the theme, some time back I read this article about the Matchbox Project which happens to be more of an artistic rather than literary endeavour. This in turn reminded me of Kevin Cordi’s StoryBox Project. Both projects follow the same pattern but differs in the packaging and content of the boxes. Matchbox is meant to be a showcase of portable art while StoryBox is about the stories,papers, videos and other content people want to showcase to the world through a globe-trotting box.
These things have made me come up with several ideas of my own except I realise I need to be able to sew to put together a quilt of book covers I’ve read. Since I’m the type of person who takes half an hour to get the thread through the eye of a needle, hopefully someone with passion for needlework could be hired for this project.
Many people I know claim they only read serious literature especially if they are creative degree students with aspirations to pretentiousness. Otherwise, they are mad about science fiction and anything to do with narcotics.
I am so out of the loop.
While these people bang on about Terry Pratchett whose Hogfather movie had me fall asleep before even one-third of it finished playing, V.C. Andrews and her tales of incestuous tragedy have had me infatuated for years. But I preferred to keep this desire for sordid drama in the closet. It is finally time for me to come out.
It started out with Willow.
But it didn’t stop there. Once I finished savouring the life Willow lives among the residents of Palm Beach where she discovers her true identity , the V. C. Andrews obsession led me to read the sequel, Wicked Forest where the story continues as Willow gets hitched with all the thrills and frills of opulence. Next in Twisted Roots the continued succession of tragedy strikes Willow’s daughter within the saga as she pursues a singing career on the road. Next I found myself reading Into the Woods where tragedy befalls the daughter of Jackie Lee Houston through her socialite mother’s toyboy. Hidden Leaves on the other hand was pretty much shown to be what Willow’s real father thought fit to tell her after her adoptive parent passed away.
I feel rather bad about reading about the misery suffered by her characters but maybe it’s because you cannot be jealous of her protagonists even if they are beautiful, wealthy and successful. It is fairly clear misfortune will strike at some point and destroy all that harmony anyway.
Then I discovered Heaven which was perhaps the best of hers I have read. It gives us a glimpse of the poor Casteel family and the fate in store for Heaven which happens to be the name of the title character.
Recently I went to the library and while I was going through the section for Archer, I realised Andrews was on the neighbouring shelf and I ended up borrowing Flowers in the Attic. Having invented a mother that could be so cruel to her own offspring, I’m not surprised she’s regarded as an occult writer even though you wouldn’t think so from the substance in the content.
Now I can count the following among the V.C. Andrews novels I’ve read-:
The Dollanganger Series: Flowers in the Attic
The Casteel Series: Heaven, Dark Angel, Fallen Hearts, Gates of Paradise
The Cutler Series: Twilight’s Child, Midnight Whispers
The Landry Series: Ruby, Pearl in the Mist, All that Glitters, Hidden Jewel, Tarnished Gold
The Logans Series: Melody, Heart Song, Music in the Night
The Delia Series: Delia’s Crossing, Dealia’s Heart, Delia’s Gift
and I think if I find another V.C. Andrews I have not yet read, I will still enjoy it even though it cannot ever be classed as serious literature.