Thursday, August 6, 2009

My Sister's Keeper

I always think a movie is going to be as good as the book it was based on, and I'm always wrong. Even when the movie is pretty good, when you have to compare it to the book, the movie always suffers by comparison.
Case in point: My Sister's Keeper The book by Jodi Picoult was very, very good. I read it before I knew of Picoult's penchant for shocking endings so I was hugely suprised and shocked at the end. The movie completely changed the ending.
Actually, the entire book was different. The premise of the book was that the younger sister, Anna, was born and bred to be a genetic match for her sister Kate, who had leukemia. Anna spent her life donating blood, bone marrow, etc. to her sister until, at the age of eleven, she is asked to donate her kidney. At this point, Anna rebels and goes to a lawyer to gain "medical emancipation" from her parents.
The book mostly dwelled on Anna's court case and the turmoil it causes in the family to have one sister denying the other a life-giving donation, as well as the stress it causes the whole family when parents take sides one sister against the other.
The movie focused on Kate's struggle with death and the family's reaction to her impending demise. The movie seemed to strive to be more romantic, more mellow, less controversial, more heart-tugging.
Both the movie and the book were compelling, but they were completely different. And as usual, I went in with the expectation that they'd be more or less the same, even though I'd been told that the ending was different.
Did you read the book and see the movie? How did you feel about the differences?
And PS......doesn't the father in the movie, Jason Patric,
look like a young Warren Beatty??


Lucy said...

Thanks. This helps me not to see the movie when I read the book. I hate that. And if I were an author, would I want them to completely change the ending? No. So how do they get away with it. Unless selling the rights to the story is worth the sale. The Horse Whisperer did that. I'm still not over it.

Utah Grammie said...

So, I have not read the book or seen the movie - but I think I'd rather read now. Good review - thanks!

SO said...

My Sister's Keeper is one of my all time favorite books so when I saw that they were making a movie I was a excited and apprehensive at the same time.

I was not happy at all with the way they ended the movie. I was po'd. And I thought of all those people who may now go out and buy the book to read it and be completely blindsided by it's ending...more so than if they hadn't see the movie.

I'm sure they felt that they had to make it a "better" ending for people to accept this movie on a large scale but to me the books ending was SO much better. SO much!

As movies go it was an okay movie. They could have done so much more with it though.