April 15, 2003

What? You expect good things from a guy who started out directing ABBA videos?

This was yet another film that I struggled to stay awake during. This time I can’t even blame it on vicodin. If it wasn’t for the fact that I was too sunburned to get off the bed, I probably wouldn’t have even finished watching it.

Just a few seconds on the soapbox…I know it’s annoying to compare books and their film adaptations, but bear with me for one paragraph. I just finished reading The Cider House Rules a few months ago – I enjoyed it thoroughly. John Irving has been one of my favorite authors since Junior High. I have suffered through a horrible adaptation of his work (The Hotel New Hampshire), enjoyed a decent adaptation (The World According to Garp) and instinctively avoided another (Simon Birch). This time, there’s no one to blame but John himself. He even won a damn Oscar for the screenplay! Why did he leave out Melony? What happened to Homer’s baby? Angel was the only thing holding Homer and Candy together – that just can’t be left out. I was quite happy to see Candy having to deal with the paraplegic Wally all by herself – she definitely got her just desserts. She didn’t deserve Homer’s help.

Strangely enough, if I hadn’t have read the book first, I probably would have liked the film a great deal more. The bizarre love triangle definitely rang a bell. After a bit of thought, I realized how much this film reminded me of The Last Picture Show. Candy was the beautiful cunt who came between two friends. Dr. Larch was Homer’s Ruth Popper. I could go on forever…

I couldn’t picture anybody else but Tobey Macguire as Homer Wells. Maybe that’s because his ugly mug was on the cover of my book. Likewise, I can’t argue with Michael Caine’s Oscar winning performance. Charlize Theron, however, needs to go back to shit like The Astronaut’s Wife and Sweet November. Who decided that she can act?

I think I’m gonna go aloe myself down and think about this film some more. I should be asleep in no time.


Year – 1999
Rating – PG-13
Runtime – 126 minutes
Genre – Book Adaptation
Director(s) – Lasse Hallström
Writer(s) – John Irving
Actor(s) – Tobey Maguire, Michael Caine, Charlize Theron, Paul Rudd
BOB Rating – Two BOBs
Favorite Quote – "Goodnight, you princes of Maine...you kings of New England." - Dr. Wilbur Larch (Michael Caine)