Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Room with a View

Move: A Room with a View (PBS)
Like/Don't Like: It was basically a view of a giant pile of poo. Don't Like.

I was just going to let Wendy do the talking because she said nearly everything that I wanted to say, only better, but I find that I can't keep my righteous indignation quiet.

About 15 minutes into this adaptation I pulled the book off of my shelf to make sure that I was right. And I was. I was absolutely right that the powers behind this movie COMPLETELY RUINED IT! And about 15 minutes before the end, after I realized exactly what I had been fearing was true, I wanted to throw the book at the tv. What rubbish.

I have two major beefs with it:

1.) They changed nearly every character into types: the Emersons, particularly George, were low class lugs; Mr. Beebe and Cecil were gay; Freddy was goofy; Mrs. Honeychurch was Elizabeth McGovern. It was maddening.

2.) The ending. Here, let me tell you how it ended. "Oh, don't bother," you say, "We know the ending. George and Lucy run away to Florence." Yes. They do. But you probably don't know that there is a "Room with a View. The Continuing Story." wherein George goes off to war and DIES and Lucy goes back to Florence and hooks up with the cab driver who originally took them all to see the view. Who knew?

Okay, and I'm going to add a third reason, which is not exclusive to this adaptation because even Merchant-Ivory got it wrong, but it's important nonetheless.

3.) I would just like to ask the very important question: how hard is it to plant a few violets? Huh? Because even with my pathetic memory for scenes in books, the one where George kisses Lucy is etched in my brain, even though it's only about a quarter of a page long, because of all the violets. It's suppose to be the well-head of all of earth's beauties but every time it's put on film it is always some brown field of wheat. If they had spent some of the cigarettes for Cecil budget on planting a few violets I would have been more forgiving of it's other flaws.

1 comment:

Liz W. said...

You know, the lack of violets bothered me too. I wrote whole paper on the water/rebirth images in the book, and the violet/kiss scene was a big part of it.

What's wrong with directors?