Friday, July 6, 2012

Book vs. Movie: Ordinary People

Owyn's back! For this week's Book vs. Movie I decided to do Ordinary People since I enjoyed both the book and the movie.


Like with Harry Potter (see my last post), I saw the movie first, and then read the book. I understand a lot of people do that, but I think that it skews your perspective about the book that way and I try not to do it often. Normally, my parents would make me read the book first, but my mom decided it would be better for the visuals (which I didn't understand until I read the book) for me to see the movie first. 
After watching it (and fangirling over how cute Timothy Hutton was back then), I decided to give the book a try. I read it over two days, literally not able to put it down, which was tough because those were school days. I thought the book was great and it was no wonder that it was adapted into a movie.

Major Differences that I noticed:
  • They totally played down Conrad and Jeannine's relationship in the movie. In the book, it was a major plot point but in the movie it was placed on the sidelines. Because of this, when the relationship came into question later, his rationale for his "love" of Jeannine was kind of questionable but when I read the book it made more sense.
  • There are more details about the relationships within the family in the books, but I can understand how they cut them out for time.
  • During the huge fight scene at Thanksgiving, I felt the emotions better in the movie. I understood the anger and pressure Conrad was feeling and totally sided with him as he cussed out his mother. I didn't feel that much in the book. 

According to most of the people I have talked to about Ordinary People, it is beneficial to watch the movie first then read the book. For the people who saw the movie first, they say it helped them with the visuals since there aren't a lot of descriptions in the book. And for people who read the book first, they ended up going back with the implanted visuals to get a better feel for that aspect, which they didn't get originally. 

Did I prefer the book or the movie?:
After mulling over this question, I have to say that it's a complete tie. I thought they were both equally great with their own strengths and weaknesses and I will go crazy if I really have to choose. Judith Guest did a great job with the book and Robert Redford did a great job with the movie.

What do you think? Leave a comment about which you think is better.
See you next time!


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