I am usually hopeful when movies are made of books I read. It's wonderful to be able to see the world I so vividly imagined, recreated by Hollywood. Sadly Hollywood never gets it right.
I wonder what the author feels when their works is optioned for film and they see someone else’s vision of their work created. No matter what, they smile and always stand behind the film studio. They call the movie wonderful, no matter how it turns out, even if the movie hardly resembles the book at all.
Long ago I fell in love with Anne Rice's vampires. Then Interview with a Vampire came to film. It was beautiful, and a very close adaptation to the book. I was quite happy to add it to my movie collection. Years later Queen of the Damned came out, another Anne Rice Novel made to film. This movie however, seemed to me, like a Buffy the vampire remake. The only resemblance to the book that was used, was the character names. They completely rewrote the story as they saw fit, changing makers, and ignoring the most important flashback about the legends and the beginning of it all. They removed the interest and bottled it up like a silly teenage angst tv show.
Next we move on to Harry Potter. Those wildly popular books turned movies. Again I watched hopeful. The first two were close. They had the right look and feel and kept to the story rather well, but then they too began to fall off, taking more creative license and less from the popular series.
Last night was the opening of Twilight, another series of wildly popular books. Yes this is a YA series so it will have the teenage appeal. I went knowing it would be a little young. I waded through the sea of teeny boppers and giggling kids, wondering how they were out so late on a school night.
I thought it would be fun to do the midnight show and see if the movie would live up to the hype. What I ended up seeing was a low budget, made-for-tv version of emo vampires, somewhat resembling the characters I had read about.
I was surprised, given the popularity of the books, that the film would be so cheap looking.
To be fair of course, The characters all looked the part. Casting did a wonderful job. Also the setting was good. The scenes were all very close to what I had pictured in my head. The story, while taking some creative license, did follow the book.
The acting however, left a bit to be desired. It affected the feel of the story.
There are some specific gripes I have with this movie.
Edward seemed like he would burst into tears at any moment. He did not exude the strong silent type as he should have in the beginning. In all of his emotional scenes He appeared as if he wanted to throw up and cry.
Jasper, though having very few lines, (If you sneezed you might not hear what he says.)looked as if he walked around with a stick shoved somewhere it shouldn't be. Sad, because the actor had the right look just the wrong expressions. If they choose to make another I hope they correct this problem.
All of the school kids seemed to be way to dramatic, almost over-acting all of their scenes. It was really hard to suspend reality and believe they instantly flocked to her in the way the movie portrayed it. They instantly acted as if she were their best friend. Not a one seemed casual and real about their interaction. Then again maybe it has just been so long since I was 17. Maybe that is how the kids are acting these days.
I really wish they had taken a slightly more serious approach to this movie. I think they could have made it great. Sadly I must say, I find it lacking.
I wonder what Stephanie Meyer thinks of it? No doubt her public Blog will tout the wonders of this film adaptation, but I wonder if somewhere inside she really wishes it too could have been done a bit better.