So…I’m a late player to the game of life. Maybe just to trends or pop culture. I am sure many of you have already read the book, seen the movie, bought the shirt, compared them to no end. Here’s my turn.
I didn’t read the book when it was released in 2012 but I heard some buzz. Not a lot but enough to add it to my TBR list, like I do many books, and moved on with life. Here is the review and story about how I finally came to pick it up.
I knew I was going to see the movie eventually, but knowing how it made me so emotional kept me from venturing out to the theater. It’s one thing to cry over a book in the comfort of your home, it’s another to be sniffling away in a theater. And I am not ashamed to say that it was the ugly cry at home.
What had me finally go to the theater was not a what but a who. My mother-in-law. She loves to go and see movies and is not a reader so when I told her it was a very sad book but also heartwarming, she was game. She went alone and immediately called me after. She LOVED it and we talked about the scenes that she enjoyed and she wanted to know “if this happened in the book” and to clarify parts that she didn’t have back story to. And yes, she cried the ugly cry in the theater and my favorite thing about my mil is that she doesn’t care a lick about what anyone thinks, she just lives it to the fullest. But hearing her praise without having read the book made me curious. It also made me think about that article in Slate by Ruth Graham who expressed her opinion that an adult should be embarrassed for reading YA. Of course, I strongly disagree but I wonder if that applies to movies as well? Here’s my 60 something mil who absolutely loved the movie and she is not in the YA age bracket. Since I am 40, should I not go to or enjoy Disney movies with my children?
So….I went. Alone. And it was wonderful! Yes, there were differences and minor changes to the story but it didn’t take away from the overall feeling and message. Sometimes that “extra” in books needs to be weeded out for time’s sake and sometimes it just doesn’t translate to the big screen. The casting was perfect, the actors did a beautiful job, the delivery was sincere.
There was only one scene that I missed that was in the book but not the movie, so stop reading now if you haven’t seen the movie…MOVIE SPOILER: one of my favorite scenes from the book was when Hazel and Gus wrote the want-ad for the old swing-set. It was a small part in the book but just cracked me up as well as warmed my heart. That was pure Gus. He would always find some type of way to cheer Hazel up and help her put that snarky, grumpy attitude aside and find the humor in life.
And yes, I quietly succumbed to the ugly cry in the theater.