‘The Door In the Floor’ Movie Review (Based on John Irving’s ‘A Widow for One Year’)

15 Mar

Poster image via Amazon

I’m making more of an effort to see the movies based on the books I read soon after I finish them. I’d say this one was a pretty solid success as I finished the book less than a month ago and it took a while to find time with how busy I’ve been! It took me a bit to realize the movie had a different title from the book. I gathered from reading the plot description that the movie only covered the first half of the book which surprised me a bit. I was pleasantly surprised by what resulted.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

The dialogue. It was so true to the book that it was almost comical at times. I wasn’t expecting so many lines directly from the book to make their way out of the actor’s mouths but it was really great how true to the book they were able to keep.

Seeing Ted in action. It was a bit hard to understand how Ted could be so attractive to so many women, but seeing him played out made it a bit easier to understand. He was charming and Jeff Bridges did a great job of bringing him to life and making him believable.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Focusing on only the first third of the novel. I thought this would bother me a lot, but it didn’t. The movie set up the relationships between the characters that carried them on their ways through the last half of the book. Marion, Ruth, Ted, and Eddie are the backbone of the book and it was great to see them established so strongly.

Cover image via Goodreads

The time period. The summer in question in the book was in the early 1950s. The movie moved it to the release date, 2005. It seemed a bit incongruous when Ted was typing away at a typewriter and we’re supposed to believe it’s 2005. I’m not sure why they’d change it because the story is universal and except when it was said what year it was and when Timmy’s show was an Air Jordan instead of a high-top, I never would have questioned it.

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

The picture Marion left for Eddie. That made an impact on me in the book. She leaves the picture of Tommy and Timmy at Exeter and says it’s for Eddie but Ted takes it from him. She left it for Eddie because it was after looking at it that they were together for the first time. It had nothing to do with her sons, it was about their relationship.

Honestly, I can’t think of anything else. The movie kept really close to the book! Well, if you’re only considering the first third that is.

Things That Changed Too Much

The ending. I’m not talking about the last 2/3 of the book missing, I’m talking about how it was wrapped up. It’s stated in the film, and implied in the reading, that a door in the floor represents death. With Ted crawling into the door at the end, it’s implied that he’s committed suicide. I hated this. There’s no way Ted (book or movie) would abandon Ruth by leaving her. Ruth is the one thing he stays focused on and is devoted to. I was really mad at the end when I saw that, it’s not like him.

Marion’s plan. In the book, she planned it perfectly. Ted got back too late to see her again before she drove away. It bothered me that Ted got to see her and knew she was leaving in the movie. Him acting like he didn’t know she was leaving confused me when he talked to Eddie. He’d seen her driving away!

I loved it right up until the end and then I got mad. At least there were extras with an Irving interview that cheered me right up. Reader, have you seen The Door in the Floor movie? What did you think?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!


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