REEL REVIEW: THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE

The Time Traveler's Wife Poster

Title: The Time Traveler’s Wife
Screenwriter: Bruce Joel Rubin
Director: Robert Schwentke
Release Date: August 14, 2009
Synopsis: A Chicago librarian has a gene that causes him to involuntarily time travel, creating complications in his marriage.

The Absence of Free Will

The main issue I took with The Time Traveler’s Wife, which is an issue for most adaptations that don’t meet my expectations, is that the movie does not include significant plot points from the book, but add events to the movie that never occurred. It usually makes for a terrible adaptation. The Time Traveler’s Wife creates this adaptation faux pas by forgetting that the common thread throughout this story is free will that leads to the inevitable. The movie actually commits this faux pas at least two times during some pivotal moments. The first adaption faux pas is when Henry and Clare going house hunting. The second obvious faux pas is when Clare and Henry are trying to get pregnant. Throw the whole scene in the trash because the movie really missed the mark. The adapters took the lazy route with the book’s free will concept, so the movie is diminished from the lack of nuance from the source material.

A Mis-Cast of Characters

Another issue I had with this adaptation was that the characters were so one-dimensional compared to their bookish counterparts. The main culprit is definitely Ron Livingston’s version of Gomez. Livingston got Gomez’s dickish characteristics down, but he was missing Gomez’s charm and humor. It also felt like the movie was trying to recreate The Notebook (but with time travel) with Rachel McAdams as Allie Clare and Eric Bana as Ryan Gosling’s understudy because this adaptation was too sappy for no reason when the source material is the opposite. Where were the rebellious Gen X punks? Where was the smart dialogue? Where were the dynamic relationships? Where was Mrs. Kim? I fell in love with some smart and funny characters while reading The Time Traveler’s Wife and was disappointed to see those characters fall completely flat on the screen.

Overall Opinion

This review could have easily turned into another rant, but I tried to keep the rantiness at bay because I knew what I was getting into. I specifically chose to read The Time Traveler’s Wife because it was considered one of the worst adaptations. Although, it’s not at the top of my list of worst adaptations (that distinction still belongs to The Giver), The Time Traveler’s Wife adaptation is no bueno. It was beyond disappointing to watch a rich story be watered down to almost nothingness on screen.

The Final Grade

Burnt Popcorn: The only parts this adaptation seemed to get right were the names of the characters and the fact that Henry is a time traveler. The movie dropped the ball when it came to capturing some of the most important and pivotal events in the story, so anyone who enjoyed reading The Time Traveler’s Wife should avoid this adaptation at all costs because it’s just a melodramatic mess.

Your Turn

So…do you think The Time Traveler’s Wife is one of the worst adaptations? Did the movie remind you of The Notebook? Let us know in the comments! |RL

P.S. Want more Time Traveler’s Wife? Read the book review!  Join the quotefest!

LIT REVIEW: THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE

The Time Traveler's Wife Book Cover

Title: The Time Traveler’s Wife
Author: Audrey Niffenegger
Publisher: MacAdam/Cage
Publication Date: 2003
Summary: The story of Clare, a beautiful art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder. Periodically his genetic clock resets, and he finds himself pulled into emotional moments of his life, both past and future.

Three is a Crowd

The Time Traveler’s Wife centers around Clare and Henry’s love story, but the mistress within the relationship is time. Time usually got in the way of Clare and Henry enjoying the best of what their love has to offer to the strength and health of their relationship. I absolutely LOVED how the reader is able to see how Henry’s time travel affects the relationship through the eyes of both Clare and Henry. From the title, you may assume the book is only told through Clare’s point of view, but I am happy to let you know this is not the case. In fact, I’m pretty sure we actually experience the majority of the story through Henry’s point of view, which makes sense since Henry is the time traveler. Even though the title of the book is The Time Traveler’s Wife, the reader (me, I am reader) is mostly interested in how this time travel thing works in the story, which means concentrating the story on the actual time traveler and not the time traveler’s wife.

Science Faction

The most enjoyable part of The Time Traveler’s Wife was how time travel works in general within this story. Although Henry’s time traveling is totally science fiction, I really enjoyed how it was centered in reality. It never felt gimmicky at any point in the story. There were no DeLoreans. There were no Pym Particles … just a person whose genetics made them move through time and space. What helps the element of time travel stay grounded is that it is limited to mostly Henry and Clare’s past. A few times the story takes us to the future, but those times are far and few between, and those events still take place in the realm of Clare and Henry’s reality. Also, most times when we think about going to the past with time travel, we think of how we can change the past to create a better future. What I liked about this story was the explicit distinction that Henry was not able to change anything that already happened when he travels through time. Since the story touches on a very significant event that occurred in September 2001, it was essential to establish that canon in order to maintain some semblance of reality in the story since dates also play an important role in the book.

The Time Traveler's Wife is #literary science faction! Click To Tweet

Overall Opinion

I enjoyed The Time Traveler’s Wife from start to almost finished. Like most highly conceptualized books, The Time Traveler’s Wife didn’t really stick the landing with that ending to the story. After the climactic event, the story started to flounder, especially when it comes to the story from Clare’s point of view. However, I would still recommend The Time Traveler’s Wife as a perfect summer read. The story is not fluffy, but it is engaging enough to keep you nose deep while lounging by the pool. Also, unless you are fluent in German and French, it would be most beneficial to read this book on a Kindle for easier translation of some of the foreign language phrases sprinkled throughout the novel.

The Final Grade

Page Turner: Despite the lackluster ending, The Time Traveler’s Wife kept me constantly engaged. My face was in this book every this I had a free moment. I needed to know what was happening next! I also enjoyed the nontraditional storytelling for this traditional boy meets girl love story. If you like a little science fiction in your romance, or if you like a little romance in your science fiction, then add The Time Traveler’s Wife to your TBR, immediately.

Your Turn

So…did you enjoy the ending for The Time Traveler’s Wife? Would you prefer to be the Clare or the Henry in your relationship? Let us know in the comments! |RL

P.S. Want more Time Traveler’s Wife? Read the movie review! Join the quotefest!

TIMELESS TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE QUOTES

Blah Quotes
Image: Gerd Altmann

The Time Traveler’s Wife is an interesting novel with a lackluster adaptation, but the book full of timeless quotes that slap. In this quotefest, these Time Traveler’s Wife quotes touch upon love, loss, and relationship dynamics.

What is Time?

Clock time is our bank manager, tax collector, police inspector; this inner time is our wife.

Our love has been the thread through the labyrinth, the net under the high-wire walker, the only real thing in this strange life of mine that I could ever trust. Tonight I feel that my love for you has more density in this world than I do, myself: as though it could linger on after me and surround you, keep you, hold you…Time is nothing.

Secret Silver Lining

This is a secret: sometimes I am glad when Henry is gone. Sometimes I enjoy being alone. Sometimes I walk through the house late at night and I shiver with the pleasure of not talking, not touching, just walking, or sitting, or taking a bath…Sometimes I am glad when Henry’s gone, but I’m always glad when he comes back.

Will You Remember Me?

Dead people need us to remember them, even if it eats us, even if all we can do is say I’m sorry until it is as meaningless as air.

Nevertheless … I Persisted

But don’t you think,” I persist, “that it’s better to be extremely happy for a short while, even if you lose it, than to be just okay for your whole life?

Dilemma

I hate to be where she is not, when she is not. And yet, I am always going, and she cannot follow.

Chaos Theory

"Chaos is more freedom; in fact, total freedom. But no meaning. I want to be free to act, and I also want my actions to mean something." – Audrey Niffenegger, #TimeTravelersWife #Quotes Click To Tweet

Could It All Be So Simple?

Everything seems simple until you think about it. Why is love intensified by absence?

Free Will is Inevitable

He said something interesting: he said that he thinks there is only free will when you are in time, in the present. He says in the past we can only do what we did, and we can only be there if we were there…You go to the future, you do something, you come back to the present. Then the thing that you did is part of your past. So that’s probably inevitable, too.

Your Turn

So…do these Time Traveler’s Wife quotes slap for you? Which Time Traveler’s Wife quotes do you love best? Let us know in the comments! |RL

P.S. Want more Time Traveler’s Wife? Check out the book and movie reviews!

11 DREAM INSPIRED BOOKS FOR YOUR TBR

Reading Nook Ambiance
Image: Pavan Trikutam

We have another interesting bookish guest post that is bringing books and sleep together. If you are like us, and you do a lot of reading in bed, then you might be interested in knowing more behind the books that were actually inspired by a good night’s sleep. Many thanks to Sleep Adviser for bringing the must-read dream inspired books to these Reel Lit streets!

Sleep to Dream

If you have ever been unable to put a great book down, you know how easy it is to get lost in a story. The interesting characters, the fascinating plot points, and the enthralling descriptions can keep you turning page after page. Authors work very hard to craft compelling stories their readers will not only enjoy, but love. For many authors, this takes years of hard work and planning. It may even mean hundreds of rejections, thousands of edits and loads of re-writing. However, for a lucky few, the entire story appeared in their dreams

Given all we know about dreams, it makes sense. Nightmares and night time visions are a way for your brain to process the day’s information and emotions, so it can be correctly stored in your memory. This often involves connecting disparate ideas and synthesizing new imagery. Authors who are trying to come up with fresh ideas and unique twists might have their best epiphanies in their dreams. Below are some writers who dreamed fantastic stories and gave the book world some of our favorite reads!

Dream Inspired Books Sleep Advisor Infographic

9 MUST-READ BOOKS BY AUTHORS BORN IN SEPTEMBER

Book Stacks
Image: Eli Francis

Just like must-read books from writers born in July, September is also full of authors celebrating birthdays who have written books that are must reads for any and all book lovers. As we move from long days and plenty of light for outdoor reading to our cozy dream reading nook to spend crisp autumn days reading indoors, this is the perfect time to enjoy a book or two from the literary world’s Virgos and Libras.

On our list, there are first books from celebrated authors, banned books that feel meta since Banned Books Week is right around the corner, and classic books that became classic movies. Are you ready for some more must-read books from September born authors to add to your never ending TBR?

The Beautiful and Damned by F.Scott Fitzgerald

The Beautiful and Damned Book Cover

As he waits for the inheritance of his grandfather’s fortune, Harvard-educated socialite Anthony and his wife Gloria live recklessly in New York elite society under the heavy influence of alcohol and greed. Similar to Fitzgerald’s other novels, The Beautiful and Damned explores the complexity of marriage and intimacy and is generally considered to be based on his marriage to Zelda (Sayre) Fitzgerald.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

In 1940s Upper East Side New York, martinis flow from cocktail hour until breakfast, and an aspiring writer meets his neighbor Holly Golightly. Holly is a country girl turned socialite who spends her time with wealthy men who shower her with gifts and take her to expensive restaurants. Over the course of a year, the writer becomes more fascinated as Holly slowly reveals parts of her life.

Carrie by Stephen King

Misunderstood and unpopular Carrie White exacts revenge on the other girls who constantly torment her at school and her mother who abuses Carrie with her newly discovered telekinetic powers. During the ordeal, Carrie causes one of the worst local disasters ever seen in the town of Chamberlain, Maine.

The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells

The Island of Doctor Moreau Book Cover

Edward Prendick survives a shipwreck in the Pacific Ocean and is rescued by a passing ship transporting animals to an island that is home to the notorious Doctor Moreau. Dr. Moreau is the formerly renowned physiologist who fled London after his grotesque experiments were exposed. Now, the mad scientist continues this work on the island where he creates human-animal hybrid beings.

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

Muckraker Upton Sinclair used his undercover work in the meatpacking plants of the Chicago stockyards in this fictionalized portrayal of the lives of immigrants who were exploited and endured harsh working conditions in pursuit of the American Dream.

CARRIE and MATILDA are must-read #books by authors born in September. Click To Tweet

Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence

Young Constance Chatterly is the upper class woman married to Sir Clifford Chatterly, a handsome, well-built man who is paralyzed from the waist down due to an injury he suffered during the Great War. In addition to physical limitations, Clifford’s emotional neglect causes distance between the couple. Eventually, Constance seeks solace with the gamekeeper, Oliver Mellors.

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Matilda Book Cover

Precocious Matilda is only five years old, but she is already whizzing through double digit multiplication and classic literature. Matilda’s classmates and teacher loves her, but everything is not perfect for Matilda. She has to deal with her idiotic, self-centered parents along with the terrifying school principal Miss Trunchbull. Fortunately, Matilda has the inner resources to rally to the defense of her friends and her favorite teacher, Miss Honey.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot retires to the village near the home of Roger Ackroyd, a friend he met in London. Roger agrees to keep Poirot’s presence anonymous, but that anonymity ends when Roger is found murdered, and Poirot agrees to find the culprit. 

Uncle Tom’s Children by Richard Wright

Uncle Tom’s Children is a powerful collection of novellas exploring the lives of black Americans in the American Deep South during the post-slavery era as they resist the racism and oppression of white supremacy.

Your Turn

So…have you enjoy any of the must-read books on our list? Is one of your favorite authors celebrating a September birthday? Let us know in the comments! |RL

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PAGE 56 EXCERPTS FROM CLASSIC GOTHIC FICTION

Creepy Halloween Forest
Image: Manuel Inglez
The Friday 56 Logo

This month’s Feature is inspired by the weekly bookish meme The #Friday56 created by Freda at Freda’s Voice. For this meme, we open our books to page 56 and our ebooks to 56% and pick a short and sweet snippet to share. What is so great about this meme is you can use any book to participate! With this #Friday56, we are getting gothic in honor of the Godmother of Gothic, Mary Shelley, and her August 30th birthday. Here are the Page 56 excerpts from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and three other gothic fiction all Shelley fans should devour that piqued our interest while providing thematic insights for future readers.

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Beloved Book Cover

Alone, the last man with buffalo hair among the ailing Cherokee, Paul D finally woke up and, admitting his ignorance, asked how he might get North. Free North. Magical North. Welcoming, benevolent North. The Cherokee smiled and looked around. The flood rains of a month ago had turned everything to steam and blossoms. “That way,” he said, pointing. “Follow the tree flowers,” he said. “Only the tree flowers. As they go, you go. You will be where you want to be when they are gone.”

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein Book Cover

My sufferings were augmented also by the oppressive sense of the injustice and ingratitude of their infliction. My daily vows rose for revenge—a deep and deadly revenge, such as would alone compensate for the outrages and anguish I had endured.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray Book Cover

Perhaps he had read it, and had begun to suspect something. And, yet, what did it matter? What had Dorian Gray to do with Sibyl Vane’s death? There was nothing to fear. Dorian Gray had not killed her.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Wuthering Heights Book Cover

Cathy, catching a glimpse of her friend in his concealment, flew to embrace him; she bestowed seven or eight kisses on his cheek within the second, and then stopped, and drawing back, burst into a laugh, exclaiming, “Why, how very black and cross you look! and how–how funny and grim! But that’s because I’m used to Edgar and Isabella Linton. Well, Heathcliff, have you forgotten me?”

Your Turn

So…what is the Page 56 excerpts that stand out in your current read? Did you share a #Friday56 on Instagram? Let us know in the comments! |RL

P.S. Want more Reel Lit? Let’s be Pin(terest) Pals!

LIT REVIEW: SWING TIME

Swing Time Book Cover

Title: Swing Time
Author: Zadie Smith
Publisher: Penguin Press
Publication Date: 2016
Summary: Two brown girls dream of being dancers, but only Tracey has talent. It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten. Tracey struggles with adult life, but makes it to the chorus line. Her friend experiences how the one percent live as an assistant to superstar, Aimee.

So Many Words, So Little Story

Swing Time felt like the story that would never end while also being the story I was waiting to actually begin. Within the story of the narrator’s life as friend, daughter, girlfriend, and assistant, there are also lessons in the history of dance, insight into the privilege of being white, rich, and famous, and the universality of the black experience. Although that sounds like a lot to put into one book, while I was reading the book, it didn’t feel like enough time was spent flushing out all these aspects of the story within the overall story arc of the main character. The story switches between the past with the main character’s childhood and the present as she navigates adulthood sprinkled throughout is the celebration of dance. I usually enjoy a story that uses unconventional storytelling like Swing Time does, but it didn’t work for me this time. I just wanted more.

The Name Game

One part of the book I found interesting is the fact that we never learn the main character’s name. She never mentions her own name, and no other person calls her by her name throughout the story. While reading, I wondered if not knowing her name was supposed to make me relate more to the character and feel like everyone could be talking to me. I can say with certainty that I never felt like I was inside the narrator’s shows because I rarely felt sympathy toward the narrator. She often came off as whiny, selfish, and lacking purpose in most things. The other meaning I took from her name not being mentioned was because her sole purpose was to be in service to those in her life, and she is never able to find her own purpose outside of that. As a child, she lived for Tracey. In college, it was her hotep boyfriend. For most of her 20s and early 30s, it was all about Aimee. It is really not until her world starts falling apart that the main character actually starts to look more inward.

Overall Opinion

This was probably not the best book to read as an introduction to Zadie Smith. I have heard nothing but great things about Zadie Smith, so I was primed for a really good read with Swing Time because the book world told me how amazing Zadie Smith’s books are, and I believed them. Although I will not deny Zadie Smith’s writing skills and the story was not the worst thing I’ve ever read, I have to admit this book was kind of a let down for me. However, I am eager to experience another Zadie Smith story and hope for a better experience in my next read.

The Final Grade

Laborious Literature: There were times when I couldn’t get enough of the Swing Time story. Other times, I was struggling to get through chapters. The book was mostly highs, but the lows were sometimes hard to navigate.

Your Turn

So…have you read Swing Time? Are you a fan of Zadie Smith? What are you currently reading? Let us know in the comments! |RL

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LIT GETS REEL: AUGUST 2019 ADAPTATIONS

Theater Seating
Image: Lloyd Dirks

August is proving to be the perfect season to drop plenty of adaptations for any and all bibliophile’s appetite. In August 2017, The Glass Castle brought a best-selling memoir to life. August 2018 had the adaptations our book-loving hearts desired in Crazy Rich Asians and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. These August 2019 adaptations coming to theaters soon are no exceptions. 

Piranhas – August 2

August 2019 Adaptations - Piranhas Movie Poster

Synopsis: Nicola lives with his mother and younger brother in the Sanità neighborhood of Naples that is controlled by the Camorra mafia. With the dream of a lush life full of designer clothes and nightclub bottle service, Nicola and his friends begin selling drugs and enter in to the power-hungry world of crime that threatens their innocence, relationships, and safety. Piranhas is adapted from The Piranhas: The Boy Bosses of Naples by Roberto Saviano.

The Art of Racing in the Rain – August 9

August 2019 Adaptations - The Art of Racing in the Rain Movie Poster

Synopsis: The witty and philosophical dog Enzo narrates how he bonds with aspiring Formula One race car driver, Denny Swift, and learns that the techniques needed to win on the racetrack can also be used to successfully navigate the journey of life. Enzo narrates his insight into the human condition as Denny falls in love with Eve and expands their family with daughter Zoe. The Art of Racing in the Rain is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Garth Stein.

The Kitchen – August 9

August 2019 Adaptations - The Kitchen Movie Poster

Three Hell’s Kitchen housewives are left with little buy an axe to grind after their mobster husbands are sent to prison. The women take the Irish mafia’s matters into their own hands and unexpectedly prove to be adept at everything from running rackets to literally taking out the competition. The Kitchen was adapted from the Vertigo comic book series of the same name by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle. 

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark – August 9

August 2019 Adaptations - Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Movie Poster

Synopsis: The shadow of the Bellows family has loomed for generations over the small town of Mill Valley. In the Bellows mansion on the edge of town, Sarah Bellows is a young girl with horrible secrets. She turned her tortured life into a series of scary stories that become way too real for a group of teenagers who discover Sarah’s terrifying home. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is adapted from selected stories Alvin Schwartz’s book series of the same name.

Where’d You Go Bernadette – August 16

August 2019 Adaptations - Where'd You Go Bernadette Movie Poster

Synopsis: Bernadette Fox lives in Seattle with her loving husband and brilliant daughter. When she unexpectedly disappears, her family sets off to solve the mystery of where she might have gone. Where’d You Go Bernadette is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Maria Semple. 

Official Secrets – August 30

Synopsis: Charged with breaking Britain’s Official Secrets Act by leaking a classified email to the press, Katherine Gun faces imprisonment. Katherine reaches out to one of the country’s top lawyers, Ben Emmerson, to defend her actions to help stop an unjust war. Official Secrets is adapted from The Spy Who Tried to Stop a War: Katherine Gun and the Secret Plot to Sanction the Iraq Invasion by Marcia Mitchell and Thomas Mitchell. 

Your Turn

So…which of the August 2019 adaptations are you excited to see? Have you read the books that inspired them? Let us know in the comments! |RL

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THE WIT AND WISDOM OF EMILY BRONTË

Quotation Bubbles
Image: Mary Pahlke

Emily Brontë is one of several amazing writers born in July and is best known for her only published novel Wuthering Heights. When first published in 1847, the novel appeared in three volumes under the pen name Ellis Bell. In fact, Brontë’s name did not appear until 1850. Although most know her as the author of Wuthering Heights and Charlotte Brontë’s younger sister, Emily Brontë began her writing career as a poet and published many poems before her young death at age 30. In honor of her birthday on July 30th, we are sharing a menagerie of Ms. Brontë’s wise and witty words.

Quotes from Wuthering Heights

 Emily Bronte Honest People Wuthering Heights Quote

I am now quite cured of seeking pleasure in society, be it country or town. A sensible man ought to find sufficient company in himself.

Emily Bronte Wuthering Heights Books Quote

Treachery and violence are spears pointed at both ends; they wound those who resort to them worse than their enemies.

Emily Bronte Proud People Wuthering Heights Quote
"Take my #books away, and I should be desperate!" – Emily Brontë Click To Tweet

Stanzas from Emily Brontë Poems

But long or short though life may be
‘Tis nothing to eternity
We part below to meet on high
Where blissful ages never dies

– Lines –

Emily Bronte No Coward Soul is Mine

Your Turn

So…what is your favorite Emily Brontë quote? Have you read Wuthering Heights? Let us know in the comments! |RL

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REEL LIT REFLECTIONS: JULIE AND JULIA

Julie and Julia Book Cover

Title: Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously
Author: Julie Powell
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: 2005
Summary: Nearing thirty and trapped in a dead-end secretarial job, Julie Powell decides to reclaim her life through cooking all the recipes in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in the span of a year.

5 Things I Hate (and Love) About Julie & Julia

It would be quite difficult for me to write a standard review about Julie and Julia because  I have almost nothing to say about either the book or the movie. I will say Julie’s story wasn’t the worst memoir I’ve read. That distinction is still held by the ever annoying Elizabeth Gilbert and her journey to rediscover herself. Don’t get me wrong, Julie Powell is definitely annoying, but I still sometimes found her story to be endearing. Now let’s talk about the aspects of the book and the movie that brought me joy and whatever the opposite of joy is. Spoiler alert: Not many things brought me joy in this story, and some of the story will be spoiled.

1. There is NO WAY I would ever want to eat anything prepared by Julie Powell in her Queens apartment. Every time she shared the squalor of her domicile, I wanted to retch. The smell of stale kitty litter permeated the apartment. YUCK! Explosions of black goo from the pipes. YUCK! The stench of body funk from going days without running water. YUCK! I would have preferred to read more about French cuisine and less about Julie and Eric’s dirty cat litter filled home.

2. I was really disappointed with how unsupportive Julie’s mom was with her blogging adventure. I get that it was probably hard for Julie’s mother to understand what a blog is in 2001, but damn, can’t you support your kid’s creative endeavor?! Can’t you encourage your daughter to finish a project, even though she’s “never finished anything before in her life!” However, I was glad the other people in Julie’s life were very encouraging, especially her husband, which brings me to…

3. Why oh why did we have to have that unnecessary dramatic fight between Julie and Eric in the movie? I hate the movie using the jealous husband trope to cause drama because apparently all movie relationships need drama. It makes me even more upset because there were no such scenarios in the book. Julie’s husband was nothing but supportive and the perfect sous chef for Julie’s culinary adventures. If there were no crazy blowups in the book, then having it happen in the movie seems disingenuous because the Julie in the book was WAAAAAAAAY more annoying than the Julie in the movie.

4. Another disappointment from the book was the lack of Julia Child. Yes, there was mention of Julia, and there were the letters from Paul sprinkled throughout the story, but that wasn’t enough for me. First of all, I could have done without those letters because they really served no purpose. Secondly, if you were going to insert Paul’s letters, then there should have been more letters. If the book is called Julie and Julia, then give me more Julia.

5. Turning this Hater’s Ball around, I will say I’m happy with the movie’s take on Julie and Julia, and I have to admit that I actually preferred the movie to the book. I KNOW! You heard it here first, people! Mark this day on your calendar. It may never happen again! The main reason I prefer the movie over the book in this case is simply the inclusion of Julia Child and how she came to be. I also loved the parallel of Julie and Julia both working to find themselves and their own happiness through the love of food and cooking. Basically, the movie IS Julie and Julia. The book is the Julie/Julia Project. I enjoyed the former more than the latter.

Overall Opinion

The book was a constant up and down for me, but I mostly enjoyed it in the end. If you want to read a foodie version of a Carrie Bradshaw column, then Julie and Julia is a must read for you. If you want to learn more about Julia Child, then this book is definitely not for you. You will learn more about her during the movie. This may be the first time where I actually prefer the movie over the book because the movie told the story of both women as they came into their own.

The Final Grade

Laborious Literature: I wouldn’t say I hated Julie and Julia, but I definitely didn’t love it. I found it enjoyable for the most part, but there were some times when I just found the story infuriating, mostly due to how annoying Julie was acting at the moment.

Kettle Korn: I would put the movie on more of the sweet side because most of the story from the book was adapted well. The salty is due to jealous husband Eric blowing a gasket at Julie. It was out of place and unnecessary. I am not a fan of inserting drama into a story just for the sake of drama.

Your Turn

So…are you a fan of French cuisine? Have you mastered the art of French cooking? Have you read or seen Julie and Julia? Let us know in the comments! |RL

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