So this is a BLOG SEQUEL! Oooooo Ahhhh… What is that, you might ask? Well, it’s a follow-up post/related post to a something said earlier. When I saw the movie Up In The Air in theaters I did a review of it on my blog, which you can see here! Now, months later, I have more to say.
I recently started to read the book Up In The Air by Walter Krin. It’s actually a pretty good read, but there are some main differences, which I want to discuss. It also got me thinking about books vs. movies in general.
So, general comments first. I think it’s really interesting that there’s no way to know how you’d react to a text/movie without having seen/read the other one first, and there’s no way not to have one of them be first. For example, I saw the movie Cider House Rules first, and then read the book by John Irving, which I absolutely loved and recommend. But if I had read the book first would I think that too much of Irving’s plot was cut out since he’s such a plot-driven author, and be angry at the movie for being so watered down? There’s simply no way to know! I think it’s also interesting that expectations are created by the one seen/read first. And with this I shall go more into detail…
In the movie Up In the Air, Ryan Bingham is a man in flight. He’s disconnected emotionally from the world, and shocked back into emotional connection when he meets a woman, Alex, who is his equal in every way. Bingham, played by George Clooney, is a suave man, always in a suit, packed perfectly, witty and on-top of it. His emotional disconnection is derived from his “suave-ness” and his personality trait that enables him to look down at everything as if flying above (….get it?) and comment, make generalizations, and yet not get too emotionally involved to have any real bias, until… well, I won’t ruin it if you haven’t seen it. In the book however, the characters are not like this. To be honest, I’ve only read half the book, but I’ve read 150 out of 300 pages, so I have a pretty good idea of their character development by now. Alex, the woman Bingham falls for in the movie, is completely different from her male counterpart. She is quirky, a bit of a hippie, flawed in many ways, not really that adept at flying, and has strange idiosyncrasies that actually don’t make her more likable, but push me away from the character. In fact, Bingham has these too (such as, he loves listening to Christian Rock. This fact actually alienates me from the character instead of identifying). Although he does make generalizations, he is much more emotionally connected to his surroundings–he gets sick, he feels for the passengers, he gets upset and uncomfortable. His ideas are completely and obviously biased. He isn’t smooth, and he wears cowboy boots, which is dumb, and makes me dislike his character to a further degree.
Anyway, you can see how I had certain expectations about the characters in my mind while reading the book. If I hadn’t liked the characters in the movie perhaps I would’ve thrown out my expectations because I wouldn’t have wanted them to be like that, or the characters in the book would have exceeded my expectations, but they are in fact now reaching them. Perhaps I would’ve like this book more had I read it first–it’s writing style is quick, and witty, very plot based, written in the same style as such books as Fight Club.
As I re-watch the movie (whose review I stand by, by the way), I realize how really dissimilar the two are. Every once in awhile there’ll be a recognizable line, but the plot is completely different, and the characters which cling so much to habit in the movie are in fact, feaux-habit clingers in the book. They appear to be habit-dwellers, creatures of habit, but in reality, find fault with their daily routines and often stay from them. You can’t establish a creature of habit by having them deviate from it immediately. This is the major issue with the book. Not enough consistent characterization. Not enough consistency before change.
Just wanted to make some interesting observations. Still haven’t seen a movie in quite some time, though I am working up the time and energy to organize an outing to the Sex and the City Sequel. Who cares about reviews when there are manolos to be seen?!
Also fun fact, today is Carey Mulligan’s birthday. Happy Birthday 🙂