Sunday, January 17, 2010

Books vs. Movies

The book is always better, right?

Not really. I mean, as a rule - yes... the book is generally better than the movie. At least when the story is similar. Sometimes you wonder, other than the topic, is it the same story? Did the screenwriter bother to read the book?

Julie and Julia? Movie was better. In fact, it wasn't even really the same story at all - aside from the main character cooking her way through the 524 recipes in 365 days, and a few anecdotes to tie it all together. The Julie Powell in the book is a very different Julie Powell than we see in the movie. In the movie we love her. She is darling, kind of a goody two shoes, and is usually pretty excited about her project. We want her to triumph. In the book we hear about how there is cat hair all over her kitchen, she ends up with maggots under her dish draining board, she fails at the recipes as often as she succeeds, and she's a lot more whiny than the book version. I'm sure the book version is closer to the truth. Plus? Can you picture the movie version of Julie dropping the F-bomb very often? The book version of Julie swears like a sailor - she's like me, totally out of control as to what comes out of her mouth at times. I get the feeling that if the book version of Julie met the movie version of Julie they wouldn't get on very well, the book version would talk about her behind her back. That said, I think I'd like to go find the blog and read through it. I'm guessing a version a lot closer to the book version resides there, but it will be interesting to find out. Plus, the movie was half Julia and Paul Child... a charming love story that I suspect was almost as glossed over as the "real" Julie Powell was, but charming nonetheless. I think the movie was better, but keep in mind I saw the movie first. I saw the movie when it was in theatres, and I didn't read the book until this weekend. I wonder what my feelings would have been if 'd read the book before seeing the movie?

Anyway, I'm passing the book on to my neighbor (Mrs. Kravitz) because I saw the movie with her. I want to see what she thinks. I think the stories were so very different - aside from the main premise - I'm wondering where the idealized version of Julie Powell came from? However, I like her better.

I like a little gloss to cover up the rougher edges I suppose.

But, I believe that you always walk away from a book with something. In this case? The something has nothing really to do with Julie OR Julia. It is the quote, "All things in moderation, including moderation." She attributes the quote to Jacques Pepin, the on the Internet it states that the author is Mark Twain. Either way? It's a good message.


birdymunch said...

I read the book first. I enjoyed the character of Julie better in the book. She just seemed more realistic. Although I did prefer the Julia in the movie better.

ganelle said...

I am almost always disappointed with the movies. Books, books, books.

Loved movie Julie/Julia, but I had heard bad things about the book, so I'm thinking of skipping that one.

Colleen O said...

Catch 22 - was a better movie than it was a book, but I think only if you read the book first and it was one of your favorites.
Dune - well dune was just stupid. Guys seem to like it... and to like to argue about which was better.
How about The Lovely Bones! I read that and it was fabulous, but the movie looks even better.
Alas, I have not read or viewed Julie/Julia