I finally watched the movie. (I bought it for myself for Valentine’s Day–I’m kinda lame, huh?) Overall, I thought it was great. I laughed. I cried. I gave it Five Stars. But, hey, I’m no Ebert.
If you don’t want to know details about the book, you should probably stop reading at this point. Spoilers ahead! I’m holding no details back!
Like I said, I loved it. However, there were things…major things…things that made the story great…removed from the movie completely. During the Director’s Cut in the bonus features, it was mentioned that they wanted to keep the story as focused on the hero and heroine as possible. It’s a romance, so believe me when I say OF COURSE they should focus on the journey between these two remarkable people. Deleting the romance between Clare and Gomez was an acceptable side-story to cut. However interesting it was that Clare latched onto him physically after Henry was gone, I can still understand why it was chosen to be left out. (Let me tell you, I was riveted as I read, even at 2am.)
But what about all the parts in the book where there were two Henry’s at any one point in time? What about the parts that made the book leap from good to fantastic? Like when one Henry would help another out with a major problem (IE: mother’s death, father’s drinking, adolescent issues)? Or when young Henry’s father finds him (awkwardly sexual moment) in his bedroom with a much older man (whom the reader knows is older Henry)? These would have been great things to explore in a movie…it’s what weaved a fantastic love story into something larger…something that reached into the hearts of people everywhere…something I would’ve liked to see on the big screen.
I take comfort in the fact that if I can’t see actors portraying it, I can always go back to my book where the characters are always the same, never changing. In that way I kind of feel like Henry, biding time until I can escape reality and get back to the place I love to be; buried deep in its pages. And the novel is much like Clare, waiting patiently for my return.