Sunday, June 28, 2009

books to movies - My Sister's Keeper

This is something of a rant so be prepared. :-) But you know what? I’ll probably STILL buy the DVD when it’s released. LOL

I love that so many books get made into books nowadays and at the same time I am glad more aren't made into movies. How's that for a contradiction? LOL And let me preface the rest of this post by saying how I have been waiting for this movie ever since I first heard about it because I was absolutely dying to see this particular big screen adaptation after how wrung out emotionally I was by reading the book.

I also have a very important rule about seeing those movies. If I haven't already read the book I do NOT read it until after I go see the movie. Otherwise the movie is ruined for me because I constantly compare it to the book.

I went to see My Sister's Keeper tonight. I read the book several years ago so it fit the rule mentioned above. I know the book is a total tearjerker so I went in to the movie prepared with plenty of Kleenex. And I most definitely needed them. And that’s OK. I was in the mood for a good heart-wrenching emotional movie which is precisely why I picked this one to see instead of Transformers (the other movie I was considering for tonight).

Unfortunately, even though I read the book a long time ago, I still remembered certain things about it and a couple of those things actually ruined the movie for me. They did do a pretty decent job sticking to the book but a few of the changes made were a little bit too big of a change for me. They even tried to keep the style of the book, with each chapter being a different character's POV by having different scenes told from different characters' perspectives.

I'm going to try to keep this spoiler free but just in case I slip and don't think of something as a spoiler that really is.....













They cut out almost Jesse's entire story (the big brother of Kate and Anna Fitzgerald). There were a few snippets from his POV but they cut out most of his story. His story doesn't really contribute a huge amount to the relationship between Kate and Anna which is the heart of the book but his part adds a deeper, darker element to the story as we see what happened to HIM as a result of living a life revolving around keeping Kate alive and the pressure that put on him.

They also cut out some of the parts about what their parents did to save Kate (starting with the number one priority about Anna's birth being to get the cord blood to the doctors to use in Kate's treatment before they even worry about how newborn Anna is doing.) I think they felt the lengths the parents went to was well represented in the scenes occurring in the courtroom. And that cutting those parts out maybe made Mom (Sarah) more sympathetic to the viewers. But those scenes in the book show so strongly exactly WHAT Anna’s life had been like and the real reason her parents even decided to have another child. And more importantly why Anna wanted medical emancipation and how much she struggled with the decision that basically would kill her sister.

Now it HAS been a while since I read the book but I totally do not remember the part about the revelation in the courtroom as to Anna's real reason for suing for medical emancipation. I don't remember that part at all but that could be attributed to just plain forgetting. But I really don't think it was something I forgot. I think that part of the story was changed to lead to the part that REALLY was changed and actually upset me quite a bit they changed this other part….

They COMPLETELY changed the ending! Well almost completely, they kept one small facet of the ending (the outcome of the lawsuit Anna files against her parents). I was FURIOUS!!! about that changed ending! One of the most incredible parts of the book is the ending since it is a total and utter shocker that I never saw coming. I was angry at first with the way the book ended, but after a lot of thought on it, I came to accept the book's ending and saw it as a fascinating part of the story, as much as it blew me away, showing that sometimes Fate is a real b!%*h. (FYI, this was the first Picoult book I ever read so I did not know at the time she’s kinda known for doing that.)

I know they changed it to try to make the movie a little more uplifting, or as uplifting as can be when it's about a teenager dying of leukemia. And her younger sister having been genetically engineered before birth to be an exact match for her so as to be used as "spare parts" for her big sister. I think they were trying to spin the story a little bit differently with the ending they used but still...

I felt cheated out of that extra emotional investment! I cried buckets already through the whole movie but the ending in the book is the biggest tearjerker of all of them in the book (though for different reasons). And to not be given that part! The almost ending of the movie (I guess it would be the ending before the epilogue if it were a book) was meant to be a tearjerker but I was so surprised they changed it, I didn't even get THAT cry out of the movie! I was too busy thinking "how could they change it like that!" to cry over the scene. Which upset me even more. LOL


At 10:45 PM, Blogger Shelleen said...

I just finished the book and I do want to see the movie even after reading your spoilers. They should never change things from a book. I can understand leaving some things out but never change anything.

At 11:35 PM, Blogger Kelley said...

if you do go see the movie be sure to tell me what you thought! I'm curious what a recent reader's perspective on the movie will be, with all the details so fresh in mind. And I especially want to hear the reaction to the ending.


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