From Page to Screen: Love, Simon

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I loved Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli for a number of reasons, but what it really boils down to is I loved it because it made me laugh and cry and was so heartfelt and moving. I could read that book again and again and never get sick of it. So when I heard the book was being turned into a movie I was naturally nervous and hesitant, because let’s face it, book to movie adaptations almost never do the book justice.

But everyone told me they loved it and it was amazing and all these incredible things so I was more than excited to see the movie. I’ll be honest, when I first walked out of the theater I was disappointed. They took out so many of my favorite things, they changed things, my favorite line from the book wasn’t in it, blah blah blah. But then I thought about it; a lot. And I realized two things:

First, yes changes were made but that was to be expected and some of the things that were put in the movie were so good the changes were worth it. For example, Simon’s mom, played by Jennifer Garner, gave Simon this incredible speech after he came out about how he was still him and just reading the quote on Tumblr made me tear up again because it was that moving. And the fact that just reading it made me so emotional all over again shows how powerful that one scene was and that was just one scene. There were so many scenes in this movie that were powerful, necessary, and so incredibly important and I loved that they were in the movie.

The second and most important thing I realized was this movie isn’t for me. Sure, it’s an adaptation of one of my favorite books of all time but I have never and never will need to come out (something that is also pointed out in the movie). I don’t know what that feels like and I can never understand that feeling. This movie is for the LGBTQ community. It’s for people who have never felt they could be or should be their true authentic selves. It’s for all the people that came out after seeing this movie or who saw it with their loved ones who were still struggling to accept them for who they are.

And so when I see all the incredible and moving stories that have come from this movie and when I see how many people in the cast and in their families came out because of this movie I literally can’t say this wasn’t a good adaptation because this movie did exactly what the book did. It helped people and I think that is worth more than having everything from the book being translated to screen word for word.

So, if you haven’t seen Love, Simon yet I highly recommend. I plan on seeing it again and this time I’ll be bringing tissues. I know I’ll need them.

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From Page to Screen: Every Day

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In case you’re unfamiliar with Every Day, the story, both the book by David Levithan and the film, follows A, a person who switches bodies every 24 hours. Full disclosure, I did not like the book. I couldn’t even finish it, honestly. I thought the concept was interesting but the story itself was boring and I think I gave up after the first few chapters.

That being said, when I saw the trailer for the film adaptation I actually thought it looked good. Maybe it was because the film was more in the love interest’s perspective than the character of A, who’s switching bodies. Whatever the reason, I was intrigued and since I have a MoviePass, which meant seeing the film didn’t really cost be anything, I decided to give it a try. Also, another full disclosure, Levithan is currently teaching my Lit Seminar so I was a little curious to see what my professor’s book was all about.

Anyway, I actually enjoyed the film. It was a pretty cute love story that, as I said, really focused more on Rhiannon (Angourie Rice), who I loved. I thought her story was really interesting, especially when it came to her home/family life. It was also interesting to see how dating A really affected her life at home and at school. However, I wasn’t totally convinced about A as character. As one of my friends said, I kind of couldn’t see A as a character, because everyone who was A was different and so it just felt like Rhiannon was falling in love with different people, not the same person. There were also some weird flashback scenes that I could’ve done without.

Overall, I’ll probably never watch this movie again, but it was a cute one time watch. My friend claims the book is better, which, based on my history with books to movie adaptations, I can believe. So maybe just read the book and skip this one.

From Page to Screen: Big Little Lies

I absolutely loved Big Little Lies by Lianne Moriaty and had big expectations for the mini-series since it got high praise but, unfortunately, I wasn’t all that happy with it. First of all, I did love that the show still stuck with the solid theme of women supporting women that was in the book. The show did do that very well and I appreciated that a lot. What I didn’t enjoy was a lot of what was added in and what was taken. Warning: spoilers for the book and show ahead!

What irritated me the most was this whole new storyline in which Madeline cheated on her husband…multiple times. She had a full blown affair with the director of the town’s musical, Joseph, who, to be perfectly honest, I can’t even remember if he was in the book. If he was, he was a very minor and unimportant character. I didn’t see what the point of adding this storyline to the show was. It didn’t add anything to the story and just made Madeline into this selfish character, which was very disappointing for me, because I loved her in the book.

That said, I did enjoy the addition of the petition and Renata trying to stop the play, Avenue Q, from going on. Through this, viewers got to see Celeste in lawyer mode, something that didn’t exist in the book. I really enjoyed that scene when she realized that she is, and always was, more than just a wife and mom, but a kickass lawyer too. That was an amazing moment and I’m glad it was put into the show.

The other issue I had was the ending and how vague it was. I know there are rumors and speculation about the second season, so perhaps this will all get cleared up then, but I really liked the ending of the book and I didn’t like how the show cut out all the conversation that happened when Perry was (finally) killed. You don’t get to hear Jane finally call out her rapist or the horrid moment when Perry straight up dismissed her. You don’t see the complete switch in Bonnie’s otherwise calm personality to blind rage. Also, the husbands weren’t even there, and I loved that added level to it because, in the end it was Nathan who pleaded with Madeline to not turn Bonnie in. After everything they went through, that moment was so nice to see that even though they may not like each other, at the end of the day they’re all still kind of family.

Also, they completely scrapped Bonnie’s back story and the reason why she killed Perry. That’s so important to the story and it was totally taken out. I don’t mind Bonnie getting away with it and not confessing, I just don’t like that there’s no explanation and the show made it seem kind of random that she was the one to kill Perry. Again, maybe this will be explained if there’s a second season, but for that little bit I feel like they could’ve just did one more episode in the series and spread out the end more, not do a whole other season.

If there is a Season 2, I’ll definitely watch because I didn’t hate the show. I was just disappointed by it, especially because it was so hyped up. I fully believe if I didn’t read the book and I watched the show first, I would’ve love it. But since that’s not the case, it was just meh for me.

From Page to Screen: So B. It

Adaptations of books to any form of media can be dicey, so I typically go into them with low expectations because they almost always disappoint me. So B. It wasn’t one of those films, though. Based on the novel of the same name by Sarah Weeks, So B. It was a heartfelt family movie that perfectly captured everything I loved about the book.

At the start of the film I was nervous because it didn’t begin the way the book did. The film chose a time jump narrative, in which it begins with Heidi already being in the police station holding her jar of jelly beans (if you didn’t read the book this will make more sense once you do), and then jumps back to fill in the details of how she got there. I wasn’t sure if I would like this but as the movie went on I really enjoyed this form of storytelling, and somehow it made the movie even more emotional for me. I didn’t cry while reading the book, but I definitely cried a few times during the movie.

Overall, I only really had one issue with the film. Unlike in the book ,the film gave a name to Heidi’s mom’s mental illness and I was very confused by it because it just didn’t seem to fit how Heidi’s mom acted and her symptoms. Still, I’m not an expert on mental illnesses so maybe I’m way off base here. Besides that, I can’t think of any other issues I had with the movie. It was very well done, and like I said, the changes were all worth it, and didn’t take away from the story. There was one scene that was cut for the movie that I wish made it in, but I understood for the sake of time why it was cut and the scene I’m thinking of wasn’t really necessary to the story so I’m able to accept that.

Unfortunately, the film is no longer in theaters but keep an eye out for the DVD release. This is a movie I highly recommend seeing. Just make sure you have a tissue box.

From Page to Screen: Everything, Everything

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Source: Alloy Entertainment

I loved Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon when I read it last year so I was super excited to see the movie, especially when I discovered Amandla Stenberg was playing Maddy.

For those that haven’t read this book (for shame!), the story follows 18-year-old Maddy who has spent the majority of her life inside her house because she has a disease that basically makes her allergic to everything. However, when a boy named Olly (Nick Robinson) moves in next door, Maddy begins to think maybe some things are worth the risk.

I thought the casting for the film was really well done. I was hesitant about Robinson as Olly at first but seeing him in the role, I thought he was perfectly casted. I also thought Anika Noni Rose as Maddy’s mom was a good choice though I do wish they would’ve chosen an Asian actress since Maddy’s mom was Asian in the book. However, as I suspected when I first saw the trailer, the movie basically flipped the races of Maddy’s parents, making her father Asian. Still, her father is dead in the film so this diminished the opportunity for Asian representation, which is disappointing.

Besides that, the film did make a few other changes that I wasn’t particularly fond of. For one, Maddy and Olly’s text conversations were shown in the form of them meeting up in Maddy’s architectural models, along with the astronaut she includes in each of her models. I just thought this was a strange way to show their conversations and didn’t like it at all. I especially didn’t like that the astronaut kind of became a character. It just seemed strange to me.

I was also disappointed that the film took out Nick’s friend but he wasn’t necessary for the story so I get the change. Another change, which I actually did like, was that Carla’s daughter and Maddy were actually friends in the film because they weren’t in the book. It was nice that Maddy had a friend that was around her age.

Overall, I did like the film. Of course it didn’t hold a candle to the book but it was decent. Would I see it again? Probably not, but it was a nice romantic film and as far as book to movie adaptations go, I’ve definitely seen worse.

Have you seen the Everything, Everything movie yet? Let me know your thoughts on it in the comments below.

From Page to Screen: Confess

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*Warning: Spoilers from the novel Confess by Colleen Hoover will be in this review. Read at your own risk.*

Confess is my favorite Colleen Hoover book so when I heard it was being turned into show I had my reservations. The book was phenomenal and I just couldn’t believe a show could do it justice. But then I heard Katie Leclerc from Switched at Birth was playing Auburn and I was like, “Okay, now I’m intrigued.” So yesterday I binged watched the whole seven episode season and it was totally worth the watch.

On the show, Auburn moved to L.A. (in the novel it was Dallas, Texas) to be closer to her son A.J. and try to get custody of him from A.J.’s paternal grandmother, Lydia. On the lookout for a job, she stumbled upon a art gallery where she met Owen, who ended up hiring her for the night to help him with an art showing he was having that night. Naturally, there was strong chemistry between them but with Auburn trying to gain custody of her son Owen was the last guy she needed to fall for. He was keeping a big secret and Auburn’s association with him could be the one thing that stopped her from getting her son back.

The show definitely made some changes from the book but nothing too major. The time between A.J.’s father’s death and the present is longer (in the show it’s 10 years). Also, Auburn’s job is different. In the novel she worked at a hair salon but on the show she works in a nursing home. Additionally, her relationship with Trey was way more serious in the show than it was in the novel. Again, these changes were small and didn’t really bother me.

The only change I kind of had an issue with was how they changed Auburn’s back story and the reason why she gave up custody of A.J. to Lydia. I won’t spoil it because it doesn’t really get revealed until later on but the change seemed strange to me. As in, I don’t know why the show writer thought it was necessary. I thought the explanation behind why Auburn gave A.J. up to Lydia was fine in the novel. Still, this wasn’t such a big deal, especially in the grand scheme of things.

A change I really did enjoy was Auburn’s roommate, Emory. In the novel, she and Auburn are more friendly than actually friends. However, in the show they were actually really close. Emory and their other coworker were there for Auburn and that was something Auburn didn’t really have in the novel. She really only had Owen’s support and as much as I love Owen I liked that Auburn had friends to turn to in the show.

Overall, the show stuck to the most important parts of the novel. I loved Owen and Auburn and their chemistry was just as good as it was in the book to me. Also, I hated Lydia and Trey, A.J.’s uncle, even more in the show than I did in the book. I liked that the show proves just how manipulative Trey is because there are scenes that weren’t in the book since the book is only told in Owen and Auburn’s point of views.

The show also handled all the plot twists so well. The flashbacks were set up perfectly and I liked how the end, which is my favorite part, was revealed. Also, my favorite lines were in the show, which made me incredibly happy.

Even knowing how the show would end, I was totally hooked, which is why I watched it all in one sitting. I definitely suggest giving the show a watch, especially if you loved the novel as much as I did.

You can find Confess on go90.

From Page to Screen: 13 Reasons Why

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Source: Netflix

When I first heard 13 Reasons Why was being made into a TV show I was not happy. I read this book in high school and I remember loving it and I just felt like a show wasn’t the right way to tell this story. The novel takes place in the course of a day/night and Clay’s literally just walking around listening to the tapes. Yes, he runs into some people but otherwise it’s mostly just Clay and Hannah’s tapes, which to me didn’t sound like an interesting show.

However, I actually really liked how the show was set up. Each episode was one of Hannah’s reasons why and the show jumped between Clay’s present, where he’s listening to the tapes, and flashbacks to the past where viewers get to see what happened to her. Unlike the novel, Clay takes a much longer time listening to the tapes. Also, the show goes into way more detail about the other characters. Like I said, in the novel it’s mainly just about Clay and Hannah. In the show you get to really know every one on the tapes. You also get to see their parents and the school’s faculty because—surprise!—there’s a lawsuit.

The show adds a lot to the story that was not in the novel, the main thing being that Hannah’s parents are suing the school for their daughter’s suicide. This added another level of drama to the show, which I actually really enjoyed. What’s more is the show goes beyond Clay just listening to the tapes. You get to see a bit of what happens after he’s done and passes along the tapes, which I found interesting.

My biggest issue with the show is that the finale definitely felt like a set up for another season, which I don’t want. I was hoping this would be more like a miniseries and once it got to the end of the book that would be it, but that’s clearly not the case. Moreover, I did not like where most of the characters end up at the end of the season. For me, when I read this novel, it was very much a lesson about how the small things we do and say can really affect people. However, the way the show ends it kind of felt like Hannah’s tapes basically just caused more problems and made things worse for her classmates, which could very well me true but then the story becomes less about what happened to Hannah and more about the affect of her tapes.

Moreover, Clay on the show is a bit different. He makes a lot of decisions on the show that he did not make in the book and I didn’t like them. While I think the way he’s portrayed in the show makes the case for no one really being innocent in Hannah’s death I still didn’t like it. I remember loving Clay in the book and it was unfortunate to see his character changed this way.

Lastly, and I can’t remember if this was said in the book so someone feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but the show reveals how Hannah killed herself and I personally didn’t think that was essential to the story. Also I was surprised there were no trigger warnings in this show (Note: I watched press screeners, so there may be warnings in the final cut). Not only does the show deal with suicide but it also deals with sexual assault and while I have no experience with either I found these scenes to be incredibly jarring so I can’t imagine what they would feel like for someone who does have experience with them. (Note: If you would like to know the specific episodes this occurs just comment and I’ll let you know.)

Overall though I did enjoy the series. I found it really interesting to get to see all the characters home lives and how their “truth” differed or lined up with Hannah’s. I thought that really added to the story and I also liked that we got to see Hannah’s parents. Though Clay obviously had deep feelings for Hannah, his pain is nothing compared to her parents and I think a big part of discussing suicide is also discussing those who get left behind. The show handled that really well.

13 Reasons Why is now streaming on Netflix. If you’ve already watched, let me know your thoughts about the show below!