Sunday, March 3, 2013

Book to Movie

Of course, the book is (nearly) always better. 

Now that that's out of the way, let me also tell you that I'm not a huge movie-goer or television watcher. Don't get me wrong. I love the movies (not so much t.v., except to watch the occasional movie). I read reviews religiously and always want to go and see many of the latest flicks. Part of the problem is that I'm such a homebody that by the time I get the energy and the time to stay up late and have a movie date, the movies I most want to see are no longer playing. So, I sometimes see them on t.v. Sometimes, I buy them on dvd so I can see them on t.v. when I want to.

Here's part of the problem: when I watch something, I am totally engaged. I am not a talker during a flick. If you try to speak to me, I become unpleasant. My hub and kids are talkers. So, I usually watch things by myself, which hardly ever happens. And now that we have this fancy flat screen with not one, but two dvd players plus a blue ray player, I don't watch dvds or television. I can hardly turn the thing on let alone switch to a component!

My husband happens to be away skiing with #4 son. #3 son happens to be home this weekend and upstairs in the hub's study watching t.v. I did get him to turn on a movie I ordered a month or two back after dinner and before he retreated back into the man-cave.

Fat Kid Rules the World. Starring Jacob Wysocki and Matt O'Leary. Directed by Matthew Lillard. Arc Entertainment, January 22, 2013. 

I found out about the movie because I friend a ton of authors in order to stalk them keep up with what's new with them. Author K.L. Going posted about the movie a while ago and suggested that I "like" the movie page. So I did, which is how I got to see photos and trailers, etc, which was cool. That's also how I learned of it's release in January. I even pre-ordered it. 

You would think that I would've reread the book before watching the movie. I read it way back when it released in 2003. I loved it and have been recommending it ever since. It's a bit edgy for middle school, but there are always readers ready for this one. But, yeah, no. I didn't. I plan on rereading it now, though, with my ears.

My impressions of the movie: Quite a few of the scenes and characters stuck with me these past ten years, and I was happy to see that the movie not only included them, but nailed them. 

But there were  a few changes, most notably the setting - New York to Seattle. That opening scene from the book of Troy imagining headlines in the New York dailies while contemplating jumping in front of a subway was just priceless. Um, that doesn't sound right. You have to read the book to know what I mean. Perhaps the NY dailies was too much of an in joke and wouldn't translate out of the area. I also wondered how all that rich interior dialogue that Troy had with himself would be dealt with on film.

When I realized that the setting was Seattle and the method of suicide was walking in front of a bus, I will admit to a moment of disappointment, especially since the day was beautifully sunny, which, I suppose, was meant to be ironic. I don't know if the ingeniousness of this setting change would've dawned on me had I not travelled to Seattle for ALA Midwinter. I did get to see a bit of the city and was struck by several things: how clean the city is; how many homeless folks there were; and how many talented buskers spent their days on the streets. 

Jacob Wysocki was brilliant. I swear I could stare at his face forever. Matt O'Leary as Marcus was also brilliantly twitchy and charismatic. The chemistry between the two felt real to me. Billy Campbell as the dad, whom I really cared about in the book was also quite good.

I loved the cinematography too, even though Seattle seemed too sunny. 

I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but I've been up since 4AM and have to get up early tomorrow and need to walk the dogs.
Do look this one up if you have a couple of free hours. 

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