Friday, April 30, 2010

The Book Was Better Than the Movie: The Lovely Bones

I went about The Lovely Bones in a backward sort of way - I saw a trailer for it in the movie theater, thought it looked interesting, and wound up tracking down the book to read.

I enjoyed the book very much. Maybe 'enjoyed' is the wrong word, but I felt it was a very good book. The movie? Not so much.

What had struck me about the book was how well it conveyed the sadness that coloured the murdered girl's regular family lives. The ways it changed them, like how the girl's younger sister started doing push-ups and sit-ups so she could fight off an attacker, something Susie Salmon hadn't been able to do. The little tragedy where a boy Susie liked who liked her became one of the main suspects in her disappearance.

I found the movie skipped over a lot of these mundane things. Susie's heaven in the book was portrayed as a high school; it was very ordinary. The movie wastes quite a lot of time having her travel through a CG landscape, fantastic and beautiful.

The one thing the movie did better than the book was portraying how Susie used the medium Ruth to contact her would-be boyfriend she never had a chance to be with: in the movie, they kiss. In the book... ew.


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