At Home, Winter 2007
Like many people, I always rush out to see the film version of any great book I have read. I know it's rare for critics to find a movie based on a book more appealing than the book itself, and I usually side with the critics. Readers have ideas of what a character or place will look like, and when the movie fails to deliver on these points, they often wish they had just stayed home. But there are exceptions. Occasionally, there is a movie so outstanding that it leaves you more satisfied than when you finished the book. Skip the library and head straight for the movie store to see:
'The Devil Wears Prada'
The book, written by Lauren Weisberger, is based on a fashion editor at a well-known women's fashion magazine. When Andy, a fresh-from-college journalist, lands a job at said magazine, her life is turned upside-down as her boss sends her on seemingly impossible errands such as getting two copies of the new Harry Potter novel - before it hits newsstands. Although the book was a great, light read - even making us relish in the fact that our jobs weren't quite that bad - the movie is a guilty pleasure.
A wonderful cast including Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep, Adrian Greiner, Stanley Tucci and Emily Blunt pull off a movie that is fun for teens and adults. Streep, who plays the editor, and Hathaway steal the show, and Blunt will get a lot of recognition for her role as a snotty assistant.
Roger Ebert may have given this film only 1 ½ stars, but the film has a shoe up on the book because of the amazing fashion seen throughout. We couldn't have dreamed up the outfits that Andy and the people she works with put together. With clothing by Chanel, Valentino and, of course, Prada, and a backdrop of New York and Paris, the movie is a feast for the eyes.
'Stranger than Fiction'
For those who don't have time to curl up with a book this winter, "Stranger than Fiction" lets audiences watch a novel unfold on screen. Karen Eiffel, played by Emma Thompson, has a case of writer's block and can't quite figure out how to make Harold Crick, the hero in her new novel, die. But the plot thickens - Crick is real, and is played by funny man Will Ferrell. He can hear the author's voice in his head, narrating his life. Thompson, Ferrell and Maggie Gyllenhaal put on good performances, and the movie is quirky and entertaining.
Look for "The Other Boleyn Girl" out later this year. The book was filled with scandal, deception, sex and betrayal. A cast including Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and Eric Bana has us dying to see whether they can pull it off.
Check it out
These novels were so good, we should have known the movie adaptations would pale in comparison. Head to the library for "The Da Vinci Code," by Dan Brown, and "Memoirs of a Geisha," by Arthur Golden.
- Allison Miriani