Usually I find that any movie based on a book doesn’t quite live up to the book. There are a few exceptions of course — I loved “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and “A Man Called Ove.” Those books were fabulous and the film versions were excellent, too.
I am a book lover and a movie lover. My favorite movies are comedies, though lately I’ve noticed that some films billed as comedies don’t seem very funny to me.
A few weeks ago, I rented a movie called “Beatriz at Dinner.” The back of the case listed the stars — a couple of whom I really like — and the plot suggested there would be funny scenes. A woman, Beatriz, who’s into new-age kinds of healing, is a lover of animals and very liberal winds up at a dinner with a lot of rich people, one of whom doesn’t like animals, women, minorities, and is a corporate big-wig. They billed this as a comedy. They lied.
It was awful. Not only was it simply not funny, it was really hard to follow. Even now, I’m not sure if she dreamt the whole dinner, or if she killed herself, or if it was a metaphor for something way over my head.
At any rate, that’s 97 minutes of my life I can’t get back.
As much as I love movies, I really get peeved when movies don’t make sense. I don’t mind if I was bored or didn’t like it, but I stew about it if I can’t figure out what happened in the film.
The first time this occurred was several years ago, when we went with friends to see “The White Ribbon.” It was a film set during World War II and I expected it to be intense. It had a pretty good plot, right up to the end, when we were about to find out who killed the person in the beginning of the movie. Then the reel just ended. The theater was dark and the entire audience sat there for a few moments, because we all thought the reel had broken. Suddenly, the credits began to roll on the black screen. I think I said out loud, “What happened?” because several people I didn’t know laughed and answered me, “I don’t know.”
I wanted my money back.
Then this year we went to see a movie with Richard Gere and Laura Linney, two actors I usually like. The movie was called “The Dinner.” It was a terrible plot — about two boys who kill someone and whose parents meet for dinner to discuss it. At the end, the adults don’t do anything productive, then return home, where the two boys are together in the woods and one appears to be possibly killing the other. The adults get out of the car and that’s the end of the movie. What?
I think we should bring back those movies where actors and actresses break into song while riding on surreys. I always understood them!
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Sue is a retired public servant who volunteers at the Hospice store (For All Seasons) in Troy and teaches part-time at Urbana University. She keeps busy taking care of husband, house, and pets. She and her husband have an adult son who lives in Troy.