Tag Archives: Change

‘A Walk In the Woods’ Movie Review

19 Jun

Image via Movie Poster Shop

It’s been a while since I read a book that had been turned into a movie and it was a nice break. It let me say to my husband on Saturday, “I have to watch this movie!” I enjoyed A Walk In the Woods a lot as an audiobook and I was curious how it would be turned into a movie so it was a delight to see this and see how things developed.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Nick Nolte. I had an idea in my heads of what Katz would look and act like, much of it derived from the narrator of the audiobook. Nolte didn’t hit it exactly, but he was pretty darn close! I enjoyed his portrayal and how he struggled with the hiking but became so much better as the film went on. When he wanted to give up, he let Bill talk him out of it. That was a lot of growth from when he got off the plane.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Katz’s drinking. I’m glad this still got brought up. I thought with the direction the film was going that it would be cut since it was at the end of the book. It was one of Katz’s biggest demons and another big moment of growth for his character.

Running into bears. This was a bit much for me. The two did run into some kind of creature (I suspect a bobcat) but the encounter was nowhere near as exciting as the one in the film. It seemed a bit too convenient that the bears were scared off by the men in their tents. Honestly, that wouldn’t always work.

Cover image via Goodreads

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

Nature facts. Toward the end, Bill goes off about the American Chestnut but it’s the first time he’s talked about nature or the trail at all for their entire trip. The book had Bill giving facts about the trail’s history and the landscape they’re walking through the whole time. Why take it out at the beginning and leave only the Chestnut?

Things That Changed Too Much

Not stopping in Tennessee. When Katz brought up fast forwarding the trip, I was ready for it. The Smokey’s were the worst part of the trip for both of them. I was really surprised when Bill kept going and they didn’t skip ahead to Virginia. That was a bit too much for me.

Not taking a break and coming back to it. I didn’t like the pace of hiking the trail in the book, but this was weird. Instead of taking the summer apart and Bill hiking parts of the trail by himself, they stopped completely in Virginia. In my mind, they weren’t as close to ‘finishing it’ as they came in the book. They had all of New England that wasn’t touched. Either way, the book and movie fell short of what I was hoping for in the story, but the movie even more so.

This was what I was looking for in a fun read about hiking and being outside. I’ve been couped up inside with school projects and I’d love to get out like Katz and Bill. Reader, have you seen the A Walk in the Woods 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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‘The Spectacular Now’ Movie Review

17 Apr

Image via Movie Poster Shop

I’ve been watching a lot of movies based on books lately! It’s been a good way for me to relax while school has been crazy. I watch them in two or three chunks which drives my husband crazy and ensures I get to watch them alone! I hadn’t heard of this book until I saw the trailer for The Spectacular Now so I had to watch the movie right away!

Things I Thought Were Awesome

The narration as a college essay. I was wondering how the writers would get Sutter’s strong voice to influence the story but using a college essay at the beginning and end was a great way to get his personality across and emphasize how he changed. Kudos!

Sutter’s dad. This wasn’t awesome in a way that means ‘cool’ but in a way that means ‘well done, writers.’ I hated Mr. Keely even more in the movie than I did in the book and he was pretty terrible in both. How little he cares about seeing his son after so many years is really depressing and seeing him go back to the bar instead of home to see Sutter was infuriating. I understood Sutter’s anger better and why Aimee was more worried about Sutter than herself after the car accident.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Simplifying his relationship with Holly. The opening when Sutter sets a fire in Holly’s house set the tone well for how combative the two would be and helped the reader understand why Holly is so reluctant to give Sutter his dad’s information. I think implying they didn’t have a lot in common and the obvious age gap between them was enough and I’m glad they took it out.

Cover image via Goodreads

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

Aimee’s drinking. The amount Aimee drank and the problems she started running into with drinking were a major message in the book. I felt this was a bit glossed over in favor of Sutter’s drinking problems in the film. Book Aimee is drinking to excess and getting sick from it while movie Aimee is having a few drinks to have fun but seems to be encouraging Sutter more than anything else. I think the change in Aimee was a big part of the book ending. With the ending change (see below), it makes a bit more sense the way the movie went.

Things That Changed Too Much

The ending. I didn’t like it. (Major spoilers for the rest of this paragraph.) In the book, Sutter had Aimee leave because it was best for her. He didn’t have his own things sorted out but knew she was in a good place and was set up to succeed in life. He recognized that he was a boost she needed to reach her goals. In the movie, he just abandons her and she almost stays for him but at the last minute, she goes anyway. I thought this was really against the book’s idea of pushing her out of the nest. Especially when he shows up in Philly to see her! That really rubbed me the wrong way. Book Sutter realized she needed him for a time and that time was over. Movie Sutter wanted to fix his own mistake and get back with her. I didn’t like the change, it made me lose some respect for Sutter.

Cassidy and Krystal. Small, but a Hollywood change I didn’t like. Cassidy and Krystal were fat! It was in the book, multiple times in Cassidy’s case. But in the movie, because Hollywood and women, they’re rail thin. I would have loved a curvaceous Cassidy and I was really hoping it would happen, but no dice. Drats.

This was a fun book and a good movie. Except for the ending, I thought the two were rather comparable. Reader, have you seen The Spectacular Now 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!

‘The Circle’ Movie Review

16 Apr

Movie poster via Book My Show

FINALLY! I had The Circle on my TBR before the movie was announced but when it came out, I tried to read the book so I could see the movie in theaters and compare them but life (and book clubs) happened and I’m only just now reading and watching. I’m so behind the times. At least I’m trying to catch up!

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Mercer. I know Ellar Coltrane doesn’t look a thing like the Mercer described in the book, but I almost liked him better. Mae seemed really superficial when she started making fun of how Mercer looked so having an attractive guy play him made more sense to me. He still came off as ‘outdoors-y’ and hands-on without an out for teasing him on vanity reasons.

Chasing Mercer. This scene was hard to read and understand in the book but seeing it played out made me really appreciate how he felt chased. It’s easy to see why, after getting death threats from strangers, he wanted to hide and being chased made him flee like an animal.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Taking out Francis. He didn’t add much to the story in my mind. He did give us a baseline for Mae’s ideas of privacy at the beginning of the book and how they changed by the end. But really, he just made me sad most of the time. Better not to have a sad character.

Reducing the feedback systems. There was so much as far as the surveys, PartiRank, influencer scores, ah! It was too much, and that was the point of it all, but it was still overwhelming to read and would have been overwhelming to see in the movie. Better off without it.

Taking out the fish tank. That was a heavy-handed metaphor if I’ve ever read one. It added nothing to the plot and only served to show the three founders as aquatic creatures and see, in a very disturbing feeding practice, how a society can destroy itself.

Cover image via Goodreads

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

Mae’s relationship with Ty/Kalden. I felt this was pretty integral to their teamwork at the end (which I’ll get to later). Without the relationship between them, I felt there wasn’t much for the trust they shared to be based on. I would have argued for the relationship to be left in, especially with Francis being taken out.

Transparency. Mae’s transparency was a big deal, but the number of other people going transparent was really glossed over. There was the one senator, but that didn’t scrape the surface of the number of people in the book who became transparent. I wish it was shown that Mae wasn’t such an anomaly.

Things That Changed Too Much

Warning: all of these are spoilers for the book and the movie. You’ve been warned.

Annie. I thought the way Annie’s story ended in the book was appropriate. There had to be a victim who’d been swept up in the Circle and it was Annie. She was necessary to show the evil in a system like the Circle and without her collapse, the ending seemed almost happy. As much as I hate to say it, Annie needed to end up in that coma.

Ty at the end. I don’t get this one. Why would he want to share Stenton and Eamon’s secrets but not bring down the company? It didn’t make sense to me what he was trying to accomplish. He’d already said that the reason he created TruYou had been twisted and he wasn’t happy with it. Why would he be happy with the Circle’s path and want it to continue? I feel like there’s a deleted scene here that makes this all make sense and makes Mae look like the bad one.

Eamon at the end. I didn’t like him ending up the bad guy after all. I pinned him as the guy who genuinely thought he was doing something for the good of the world and seeing him entrenched in secrets and getting ready to face legal battles ruined his character for me. I wish they’d left him out of it, maybe thrown Stenton under the bus alone. Or, you know, kept the ending from the book. Just saying.

Spoilers over!

Overall, it was a fair representation of the book though, of course, a lot was cut out for time. It was such a long book, I knew a lot had to go. Reader, have you seen The Circle 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!

‘The Glass Castle’ Movie Review

19 Mar

Movie Poster via IMDb

OK, I’ll be the first to admit that I read this book a looooong time ago. I know it was 2015 because I remember reading it at a conference in Chicago. I told myself I’d see the movie when it came out but I’m terrible at seeing movies in a timely fashion. I was on my way home from California when I started watching it on the in-plane entertainment app. We landed before I could finish it so I wrapped it up over the weekend. I don’t have a great memory of the book, so please comment with more if you can.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Woody Harrelson. I feel like he gets a bad reputation for being a bad actor, but I don’t agree. He’s very good at playing a drunk or a drug addict! Rex seems like a role made for him and he did a great job with it. The emotional highs and lows were believable and I felt like Woody might have really experienced those emotions.

If you only watch one part of this movie, watch the credits. There are interviews with the Walls kids and video clips of Rose Mary and Rex from the time they were living homeless in New York. It was amazing to see Rex and how well Harrelson embodied him. The interviews were great because the kids shared their memories of getting a star and it mirrored that scene in the movie so well.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

More of the movie concentrated on Jeannette’s time in the present, with David, than I remember from the book. It was fine by me, interesting enough, but I felt like it was just to give Brie Larson more screen time. I wanted to be with the Walls family in Welsh or traveling across the country in a van more, but the writers found a way to keep it interesting and I liked it well enough.

Cover image via Goodreads

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

Not taken out, but shortened. Her time in college! I was amazed that Jeannette went through school with no family support the way she did. That was the most empowering part of her story for me because it overlapped with my life. I was really amazed by her strength there.

Things That Changed Too Much

Rose Mary’s problems. It was clear in the book that both of Jeannette’s parents contributed to her challenging upbringing. While Rex had problems with drinking, Rose Mary would hide food from her children and couldn’t hold a job. Her issues were really downplayed in the movie to focus on Rex and I think it took away from the book as a whole.

I’d have a lot more to say if it hadn’t been so long between when I read the book and seeing the film. I liked the movie but I’m sure there were parts left out that I would have liked to see. Reader, have you seen The Glass Castle 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!

‘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!

‘The Color Purple’ Movie Review

8 Feb

Movie Poster via Amazon

I was well aware of the movie version of this book. I’m aware of the play as well so I’ll have to keep an eye open and see if it’s being put on anywhere near me. You can read my book review of The Color Purple and I recommend the movie as well!

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Whoopi Goldberg. I didn’t know she was in this and I loved her! It seems like this might have been her first major role and I think she killed it. Celie’s a character that could easily come off as slow or unresponsive but Goldberg played her wonderfully. I got a better sense of the character from her. The young actress was incredible, too. I would have loved to see the two act together.

Harpo. I didn’t understand his characterization in the book, but the way he came across in the movie was great. He was always well-intentioned, even when he fought with Sofia but he was a bumbling idiot a lot of the time as well.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Fewer time jumps. The book took place over a long period of time but because of aging the actresses, the movie concentrated a lot on Celie’s marriage to Mister and the year or so on either side of that and then on a time about 12-20 years later. I liked having a more set time period because I struggled knowing how much time had passed and how old children were and how long Shug had been with Mister.

Mister’s work ethic. There was a big point in the book about him being lazy and doing nothing around the house. The movie made it clear he wasn’t good in the home, but it showed him working the fields a lot and putting in the effort to earn a living. I found this a little contradictory but it wasn’t too distracting.

Cover image via Goodreads

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

Sofia’s imprisonment. She comes back with an injured eye but it’s never really explained what happened to her or where she was. It almost seems like the injury happened when she was living with her sisters. I think her injury should have been taken out or it should have been clearer that she’d been in jail.

Mister’s redemption. He really redeemed himself by the end of the book but at the end of the movie, you were just glad he was gone. He might have been a better man when he had to be by himself, but we see him as a lonely drunk who manages to clean his porch, not a man who’s turned his life around.

Things That Changed Too Much

Not thinking Nettie was dead. To me, this was the largest emotional blow and not having it in the movie made the movie a little easier to take. It was alluded to, that there was a letter that went to Mister’s house, but we never hear that Nettie’s ship sank and she’s presumed dead. I wish that had made it in the final cut.

Shug and Celie’s relationship. This was such a big point in the book! The women share a kiss in the movie, but there’s almost nothing about Shug and Celie loving each other and how Shug running off with a younger man breaks Celie’s heart. I wish something more about that had been in because it said a lot about Shug’s character that the movie missed.

I was crying toward the end of the movie and (of course!) that’s when the maintenance guy showed up. I bet I looked silly. Reader, have you seen The Color Purple 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!

‘Our Souls at Night’ Movie Review

11 Dec

Movie poster via IMDb.

A friend from my book club alerted me that there was a made-for-Netflix movie version of the book we were reading for discussion, Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf. I had a flight home from Texas after Thanksgiving and my husband and I downloaded it and streamed it for the last part of our flight. It ended up being a relaxing way to end the trip.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Redford and Fonda. I was told later that Redford approached Fonda about making this movie together, reminiscent of when they did Barefoot in the Park together fifty years earlier. I thought the casting was good and I was glad to see two well-known and respected actors take on the roles.

Addie. I wasn’t a big fan of her in the book but the movie made her very sympathetic. She seemed less pushy on-screen and I enjoyed seeing her vulnerable when the book made her seem unbreakable emotionally.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Jamie at Ruth’s funeral. The book made a point of not having Jamie at Ruth’s funeral. This seemed odd to me because he was old enough to understand death and you’d think he’d notice Ruth not being around anymore. I understand they were protecting him for even more loss during a hard part of his life, but I thought it was a bit too much.

Cover image via Goodreads

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

Louis gardening. This is honestly the only thing I can think of that was taken out of the movie. It meant that the mice were out as well but the train replacement was good, in my book. I think the gardening could have been nice visually, though.

Things That Changed Too Much

Gene’s drinking problem. This one made me mad. Yes, Gene was a bad father but taking it to the point that he’s leaving Jamie home alone for hours while he goes out drinking was too much. It made Addie’s motivation to leave Holt strong, but it didn’t make as much sense considering her plotline with Louis. It really got to me.

Gene and Beverly’s relationship. This is really an extension of the one above. With Jamie losing his mother, Addie had very different motivation to want to move in with him. Rather than being injured and almost forced to go, she is 100% making the decision to leave. I felt the whole end of the story was different with these changes.

It was a slow movie, probably not the best for watching on a plane to keep you awake, but also a nice way to wind down at the end of a long vacation. Reader, have you seen the Our Souls at Night 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!

‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ Movie Review

6 Nov

Image via Movie Poster Shop

This is another case of me being completely unaware that the book I was reading was turned into a movie. Thankfully, many of the amazing participants in WWW Wednesday let me know and I was able to grab this from the library to enjoy as a mid-week break from school. Oh, and I totally cried. It’s a good thing my husband was at work when I finished this.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

The casting. Lemmon and Azaria were both amazing. I can’t help think of Azaria from his role in Friends when he played Phoebe’s physicist boyfriend, but I still liked him in this. He even sounded a bit like Albom which was a nice touch. Lemmon was a great pick for Morrie and I think he really brought the character to life. It was very close to what I pictured when listening to the book.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Mitch working. In the book, there’s a newspaper strike going on while he’s visiting Morrie so he’s not working and things are slow. Getting to see Morrie isn’t a scheduling conflict and Mitch has a lot of time to think about the lessons Morrie is teaching him. I think having him busy with work built a lot of suspense and helped with Mitch’s plot line which wasn’t present in the book.

 

Cover image via Goodreads

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

Visiting Morrie’s grave. I thought this was how the movie was going to end. Morrie wanted Mitch to visit his grave and keep the conversation going, keep talking to him. In the book, Mitch talks about doing this and it made for a good ending. I wonder why the movie didn’t end the same.

Things That Changed Too Much

Mitch and Janine’s relationship. This one really upset me. Mitch and Janine were happily married in the book and I hated the implication that he was a bad boyfriend or husband. I felt Janine was a good support for Mitch in the book and viewing her any other way was hard for me.

The focus on Mitch. The book doesn’t focus much on Mitch. The story is about Morrie and how he’s dying and the lessons he wants to impart before he does. Switching the focus to Mitch and how he as changed by Morrie made for a good movie, but it wasn’t true to the book.

Like I said, this made me cry. It was well done and I grew to care a lot about Mitch and Morrie’s characters. I didn’t think such a short book could make a good movie, but I was wrong. Reader, have you seen the Tuesdays with Morrie 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!

‘Still Life’ Movie Review

26 Sep

Movie Poster via Amazon

I had no idea Still Life by Louise Penny had been made into a movie while I was reading it. After I write a review, I always look at others’ reviews and see if I was alone or in the majority with my opinions. That’s when I read that there was a CBC movie from the book and luckily it was available for streaming on Hoopla through my library. It made for a nice night over the weekend while my husband was out-of-town.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Seeing Jane’s house. It was as beautiful as I thought it would be. Seeing all those images on the wall, all her friends, family, and the people she loved all together and living around her made the home feel so welcoming and lovely. I only wish more of it had been shown as the book described it as the entire living room and second floor of the house.

Jean-Guy Beauvoir. Maybe I missed the part in the book where he was young and super cute or maybe that was a movie add. Either way, it was a nice touch. The actor looked really familiar and I guess I’m remembering him from White House Down because I haven’t seen any of the other movies or shows Anthony Lemke has been in.

 

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Taking out Jane’s romance. Her romance with Andreas was a nice story but it was a red herring and seemed to serve only to cast Ruth into a bad light. As an older woman, I had never considered her the one to shoot a hunting arrow through a friend mostly because she likely lacked the strength to do it. I was fine with this receiving a few lines of dialogue but not coming to much in the end.

Clara and Peter’s art. Art was such a big part of the plot in this story so not going more into Clara and Peter’s art and financial struggles made it unclear why Clara was so involved in the art show and why having money left to her by Jane would be so important. I think it’s something little that could have been added.

Cover image via Goodreads

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

Nichol’s backstory. Without the head jumping that the book was able to do, it was hard to get into Nichol’s head and really understand where she was coming from with her rude comments and haughty attitude. Knowing a little about her family, their desire to see her rise, helped frame her terrible attitude a lot better.

Things That Changed Too Much

Clara and Ben’s relationship. This was a bit much for me. Knowing Clara and Ben had a romantic relationship really changes how you feel about him at the end. He was greedy enough to kill someone he loved twice (his mother and Clara) to keep his inheritance safe. This also drastically changed the relationship between Peter and Clara at the end of the story.

Overall, I thought this was very nicely done. There wasn’t too much changed between the book and the film which was refreshing after so many altered movies lately. It seems there has not been another book in the series made into a movie. I wonder if this one didn’t do well or if maybe there are some in the works. Reader, have you seen the Still Life 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!

‘A Hologram for the King’ Movie Review

13 Jul

Movie Poster via Wikipedia

When I read A Hologram for the King, I wasn’t expecting much. I’d read an Eggers book before but the topic was so vastly different that I didn’t see how the same man could have written both books. I adored Hologram but couldn’t articulate well why. It reminded me a bit of Waiting for Godot but set in Saudi Arabia. That doesn’t instill much confidence, does it? I was excited when the movie came out but it didn’t get much hype. I took it up north to my parents’ cottage to watch with them and hubby and everyone seemed to like it though it had a meandering plot similar to the book.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

The King’s Metropolis of Economy and Trade. Description of the city is one thing, but seeing it on-screen was incredible. I kept having questions about how there was water and electricity in that remote part of the desert, but that’s beside the point. It was crazy to see the city rising out of the desert and even crazier to know it’s based on an actual city! The novel used the real name, King Abdullah Economic City.

Yousef. The quirky and mischievous driver was more fun in real life. He was really funny and I can’t remember how much of that humor was present in the book. My favorite line was when he found out Alan was late and said, “If you’re in a hurry, we should be going this way,” and did a complete 180 in the taxi.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Seeing Mecca. I don’t remember that part from the book at all. It was fun to have it thrown in, adding a little more adventure to Alan’s trip to Yousef’s home. It was clear the images were stock, which was the only thing that bothered me. I think they could have been worked in a little better but it was a fun scene to add.

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

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

Communication with Kit. Alan was writing to Kit all the time in the book. His inability to provide for her as a father was a major motivator for him to stick around in Jeddah and wait for the King to show up. It was clear she was part of his reason and motivation, but I think it was more stressed in the book.

Things That Changed Too Much

The ending. This was the only thing that really bothered me. I remember the ending of the book is annoyingly vague. Alan was going to stay but wasn’t sure what he would do or where he would live. Nothing was going well with Dr. Zahra and he was very alone. All of that was different in the book. He was selling housing units at KMET, he was living with Zahra, and he seemed really happy. One of the things I loved about the book is that it didn’t wrap up in a nice little bow but the movie did. It was 20 seconds at the end, but it was too much for me.

I was sad to hear this was a box office flop. I guess other people don’t enjoy movies about waiting as much as I do. Reader, have you seen the A Hologram for the King movie? What did you think?

Until next time, write on.

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