My lovelies, I’m upset.
I do this EVERY time. Really, I should have learned my lesson a long time ago, but I keep getting sucked in and repeating the same mistakes. But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let me explain…
My life has changed a lot in the past month. Becoming a supply teacher has been amazing for so many reasons, but one of the things I love most about this job (besides the paycheck) is that I suddenly have all this time to read. For those outside the teaching world, most high school teachers teach three periods a day, with the fourth designated as a “prep” period for marking, preparing lesson plans or duties, or sometimes covering “on-call” classes for teachers who are out on field or sports trips. Naturally, I assumed that as a supply teacher, I’d have any prep periods I was given filled with on-calls or other in school supervision as needed.
I’ve done the odd extra supervision, and have often trekked down to the office to check and double check that there’s absolutely no place they need me, but I often find myself with 76 minutes of free “teaching preparation” time, not including my 45 minute lunch. As I don’t usually know many of the full-time staff in the schools I’m in, once the usual pleasantries and chit-chat is over I find I have a lot of free time.
So I read.
In the past month I’ve read more books than I have in the past year. It has been wonderful. I really had nearly forgotten just how much I love reading. I love the feeling of being so immersed in a book or character that the world around you stops and you completely lose track of yourself. When I am really into a book, I imagine everything. I visualize the setting, the characters, the story–every detail. It’s like I can see the story as I read. I see what’s on the pages, then my imagination fills in the rest.
(Which is probably why I was so disappointed with the Twilight movie after reading the series. That Rob guy was just not Edward for me. It ruined the whole movie for me and I haven’t seen once since.)
…but sometimes this isn’t quite enough. I long to see what I’ve just read about, as if to relive the experience one more time and confirm everything I’ve just read. So when I’ve loved a book and find out there is a movie with the same title, I always get really, really excited and want to watch it RIGHT AWAY.
(seriously. Like I need to get the movie before I finish the last chapter so that as I close the book I can press play on the DVD player.)
So, I finish the book, hardly able to contain my excitement to watch the film, and I get ready to watch the movie. Then, on cue: disappointment. Every. Single. Time.
Why is the movie never as good as the book? Seriously–so many of the books I read have SO much potential to be GREAT films. Take Arthur Golden’s Memoir’s of a Geisha, for example. I read the entire book in a day because I couldn’t put it down. Wonderful characters, fabulous storyline, exotic setting; really now, could you ask for more? I rushed to find the film, and within 45 minutes I knew it was a bust. They left everything out. I get that it’s a detailed book and you can’t capture everything and yada yada, but if you can’t do the book justice, don’t make the movie! It hurts my heart. Really, it does.
Or, take the time and go the BBC Pride and Prejudice route–two long DVDs of Colin Firth in his dark, broody glory. It’s long, but it is wonderful. As far as I’m concerned, no other version will ever touch it. Don’t even talk to me about that recent version they did with whats-her-face from Pirates of the Caribbean. Ugh. Madness.
Okay. I realize that I’m ranting, but it’s for a good reason. This week I read Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones. I’ve had it on my shelf for months but couldn’t make myself pick it up until now. I had heard such mixed reviews about the book that it held little interest for me. But, as I had nothing else to read I grabbed it and brought it with me to school to occupy my time.
I was hooked after the first sentence. The periods couldn’t go by fast enough as all I wanted to do was pick it up again and keep reading. Naturally I remembered all the hype when the movie was in theaters earlier this year and decided I needed to see the movie. After all, the story was fabulous. It could have translated so easily into an amazing film.
Annnnnnd nope. Again, they left everything out! Half of the characters in the book were either completely absent from the film, or had little to no storyline. All the character development was gone.
I was so disappointed. *sigh*
Why do I keep doing this? I really should probably just start watching the movies first so that I won’t be so disappointed–the book can always fill in the gaps and tell the real story afterward. However, in this case, if I had watched The Lovely Bones first, I never would have picked up the book.
It was that bad.
I’m beginning to doubt that a good movie based on a great book even exists.