Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I say it's spinach, and I say the hell with it.

At Mr. E's work Christmas party he won some kind of raffle and got a gift card for the movies. We've had it for three weeks now and we still haven't used it because all the movies that have come out here look just wretched. I think Mr. E was whining on about this to his mom the other day on the phone and she suggested we go see "Charlotte's Web" and maybe I was a little blunt in my response but I believe "hell would freeze over" came out of my mouth.

And that's the same way I felt about it when the movies tried to ruin "Cheaper By the Dozen" and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "Madeline" and "Stuart Little". And it's not because I hate kids movies, although I'm not a big fan of animation. But when I was little girl, a wee one of a thing, these books were my SOUL MATES. I read them over and over and over again. I loved Charlotte's Web so much I still think maybe someday I'll name my daughter Fern. When she sits by Wilbur's pen and she feeds him from a bottle you can tell just by reading about her and how she saves Wilbur in the face of her stern father that she is just such a nice girl. And then she grows too old to really care about as much about pigs and she starts caring more about boys and that moment breaks your heart a little, even though maybe the first time you read it you are too young to know much about that.

And yes, tell me to get over it, but I do find it personally offensive that we're so lacking in creativity that all my beloved children's books are being recycled into dreck by Hollywood at large. And for god's sake people. I understand your kids love Dakota Fanning and you cried at the movie and you looooooved it and all that, but really? Just sit down with your daughter and read her Charlotte's Web and I promise you that something more will come of it than two hours spent crying in a movie theater. I still have my childhood copies of all those books and while I can't remember any movie I ever went to with my parents, I remember sitting with my dad every night while he read to me and I remember when he cried when Laura and Mary had to leave Indian Territory and what it was like Stuart fell in love and when Charlotte died and those books and their imaginary worlds and those moments with my dad reading to me made me a reader, and a writer, and they made me who I am today. They were the very best part of my childhood.

So really, I'm not gonna go see Charlotte's Web. I'm just not. In fact my general policy towards any movie like this is to just ignore the wretched thing and after awhile it goes away. Sometimes the trauma continues (say in the form of Cheaper By the Dozen 2) but I think it's safe to say there won't be a sequel to Charlotte's Web. Although, god, who knows. Maybe I shouldn't tempt fate.


LME said...

Hear, hear! I feel absolutely the same way, not only about children's books, but about movies made from old t.v. shows and about movies made from literary novels.

WifeMomChocoholic said... a children's librarian I like the fact that a herd of children rush in to check out any book that has been made into a movie. However, some are definitely better than others. The Chronicles of Narnia -- fantastic! Tuck Everlasting -- not so much. I don't mind if they actually stick to the same plot the book has, but when they make the movie and it's an entirely different story...ick.