Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How Hollywood Can Fix Great Novels


Last night I watched the film version of The Golden Compass, which contained all the fun of the book! Except the fun was filtered, to make for Maximum Fun. The references to religion were obscured, so Christians wouldn't become atheists. (All it takes is watching a fantasy movie.) The violence was toned down, so Toddlers could see it. (Toddlers are huge fans of His Dark Materials.) And the movie follows the bold tell-don't-show philosophy, so the Stupids wouldn't feel left out. (There's no better dialogue than blunt exposition.) Isn't it a great thing that Hollywood can bring Religious Fanatics, Toddlers and Stupids together for Maximum Fun?

I think so. And as I prepare to move to Los Angeles, I know I'm going to need to fit in. So here are some ideas for how Hollywood can fix great novels, through brilliant movie adaptations.

The Subtle Knife

After knocking a man down some stairs, Will Parry is a murderer - no. After throwing a water balloon at a man, Will Parry is a very naughty boy. Naughty naughty! Then he finds a world called Citagazze - no. He finds a world called City-Gizzle, where there are Specters that feast on human souls - no. Too "dark." The Specters say "Boo!" and push you down, giving you grass stains. Grass stains that never come off! Unless you have some special water. Then they do. Also, nobody dies.

Lolita

Literary scholar Humbert Humbert - no. Professional football player Hummy Hum-Hum falls in love with a 12-year-old girl - no. Too "controversial." Professional football player Hummy Hum-Hum falls in love with a 21-year-old girl, and they go on a road trip, to see the Jonas Brothers. Hugh Jackman and Jessica Alba attached.

The Metamorphosis

Gregor Samsa wakes up one day to discover that he is a giant bug - no. Gregor Samsa wakes up one day to discover he is an adorable puppy, but his family treats him coldly - no. Too "unrelatable." Gregor Samsa wakes up one day to discover that he is an adorable puppy, and his family showers him with love, teaching him that if he spent just a little less time at work, he'd be a happier man. Kafkaesque themes intact.

The Brothers Karamazov

No. The Brothers Kangaroo. And they're animated kangaroos! Dmitri - or Dennis - is the wild one. Ivan - or Evan - is the smart one. And Alexei - I mean Alex - is the goody-two-shoes. After being on their own for years, they go home to reunite with their estranged father Fyodor - or Fred - but sometimes getting along is easier said than done! Nobody dies, and all philosophical conversations are replaced by farting contests.

The Catcher in the Rye

Cynical teenager Holden Caulfield - no. Sensitive class clown Holden Caulfield runs away from prep school to loiter in New York City - no. Sensitive class clown Holden Caulfield runs away from rock star school to pursue the girl of his dreams in New York City. After some comical misunderstandings, they fall in love, and he decides to go back to rock star school, to become a rock star. He does. Leave door open for sequel.

I'm ready, Hollywood.
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1 Response to "How Hollywood Can Fix Great Novels"
  1. Victoria said...
    April 8, 2009 at 8:34 PM

    Ahahaha! Nice.

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