STATUS: Out of the office and it’s busy! All good stuff though.
What’s playing on the iPod right now? I WILL POSSESS YOUR HEART by Death Cab For Cutie
Or in other words, you know a movie has jumped the shark when your two nieces under the age of 15 start heckling the movie screen.
Yesterday I took my lovely nieces (one age 10, the other age 14) to see the movie CITY OF EMBER. Both of them had read and loved, loved, loved the book so they were pretty stoked to go see the movie adaptation.
And the movie certainly started very strong. Good world building. Good characters (my 14-year old niece assures me that Doon, played by the young actor Harry Treadaway, is quite hot). Good strong plot points.
We were all very happy with it.
Then about 35 minutes before the movie’s end, something happened and let me tell you, my two nieces noticed it right off. Suddenly the movie lost its plot and turned into a Disney-like theme park ride where the events that happened in the ending minutes didn’t really tie up the plot. In fact, the movie became kind of silly.
It was the after-school showing and there was no one else in the theater (so fun to have a private screening!) so my nieces started heckling the movie (a la Mystery Science theater style).
Call them cynical but I call them real. Even I could tell the movie had started to miss and my nieces had no compunction against saying so. It seems to me that this is simply an instance of adult writers (and movie makers) completely underestimating the audience and doing some sappy, simplified ending rather than something that would really conclude the story.
Because I see this so often in children’s submissions—where it’s obvious that the adult writers have also underestimated the audience—it seemed worth mentioning here.
However, CITY OF EMBER is a brilliant book and it’s not Jeanne DuPrau’s fault they mucked it so get thee a copy.