Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Room With a View

Captain's Log, Stardate 05.28.2008

I finally got a chance to watch the new BBC version of A Room With a View, and this is another instance of a movie’s ending totally ruining a rather good flick for me.

SPOILER ALERT:

Okay, I don’t remember this in the book, but did Lucy’s husband die in the end of the book? If he didn’t, why did the screenwriter ruin a perfectly good romantic movie with the reminisces of the heroine returning to Florence after the hero has died???

All through the movie, I kept hoping the hero would eventually appear and join her in Florence, maybe make up after some horrible argument or return from a trip or something. I had a suspicion he might be dead, which was why she was returning to Florence in the first place, but I certainly didn’t want to think about that while their love story is unfolding!

And the stupid thing at the end where she’s holding hands with the creepy Italian guy? Come on! I’ve fallen in love with George during the movie, and I don’t want to see her falling in love with some other guy!

I talked this over with Captain Caffeine, and realized I feel cheated and deceived. I was expecting a lovely romantic movie and got a dead hero at the end. This would NOT fly in a romance book. I mean, I read romance and watch romance for the HAPPY ENDING! I have been cheated!

END OF SPOILER

I liked the actors. I actually kind of liked the actor for George better than Julian Sands, who always just seemed a little off. I like Helena Bonham-Carter better, but the actress for Lucy was rather good.

I recognized so many of the other actors—Mr. Emerson is played by the actor who is Peter Pettigrew in the Harry Potter movies (and he was just excellent), Mr. Beebe is the actor who plays Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter movies, and Sinead Cusack from North and South is absolutely brilliant as Miss Lavish. I also enjoyed seeing the actress who played Mary Musgrove in Persuasion as Charlotte—she did a terrific job. I also recognized Elizabeth McGovern from the Scarlet Pimpernel TV series as Mrs. Honeychurch and the actor who played Wisley in Becoming Jane as Cecil Vyse.

Well, all I can say is, the ending let me down and it would have otherwise been a rather good version of the book.

The book has always confused me because it seems like the author is assuming the reader will understand the subtexting and social mores of the times, so many times, a character will do or think or feel something and I won’t be able to follow it. Like when Mr. Beebe gets upset at Charlotte in the first chapter. I totally don’t get that, no matter how many times I read it. Charlotte doesn’t really come across as dithering, which would have explained his irritation better.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on the movie.

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