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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Favorite books series ruined by movie translations?

You know that favorite book series you have? You fell in love from book 1 and every book published after is a must have. You know the characters as if they are family and as you read through their stories, you create voices in your mind for each one of them. But then a movie company realizes how popular that series is. Then a producer sees dollar signs. Next thing you know, a movie is being made "from the books". But you wonder, will they follow the books? Or are they going to change everything and ruin the wonderful images your mind created based on the deep descriptions provided by a truly great author. Most of the times its the latter option. Take for example a movie I've been waiting for for years - "One for the Money". It's supposed to be "based" on the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. So far there are 18 books going through the adventures of a female bounty hunter. She's pretty hopeless at her job and spends more time at the donut shop or having her cars totaled in bizarre ways than she does catching the bad guys. But that's not what really endears her to the readers. Its the odd people she is sent to catch; like the woman on PMS who holds up a Cheetos truck, the guy who thinks he's a leperchaun and makes her chase him naked through a car wash, or how about the Easter Bunny? Her family is awesomely dysfuntional. Her grandmother would be Ma from the Golden Girls in a track suit with brightly colored dyed hair forever going to the funeral parlor trying to sneak peeks at the deceased. Her mother is always trying to hook her up and wonders where she went wrong that she ended up with a daughter who chases people, sets things on fire and carries a gun (that is usually empty). Her father mostly comes around at dinner time and keeps his head down pretending not to notice everyone else. On the job, Stephanie makes friends. An ex-hooker that Stephanie saves who would be great in a movie if portrayed by Queen Latifah. She's a plus size woman who likes to squeeze herself into size 6 animal print/neon colored outfits, dye her hair outrageous colors and is always looking for the nearest food selling place. Ranger and Morelli are the 2 men in Stephanie's life. Ranger is her mentor and she describes him as being like batman and would be best played by Dwayne Johnson. Morelli is the cop Stephanie tries to kill *ahem* catch in the first book. Later they begin to have an off and on relationship. But that's all I'm saying about them for now. So here is my dilemma. First of all, Stephanie is not a Katherine Heigl type. She's more like a Sandra Bullock. Daniel Sunjata (whoever he is) is too young and way too small in body to fulfil the part of Ranger. Ranger is ex Special Ops, knows all, has his own company... They should have gotten someone older to play the part. Sherri Shepherd as Lula (best friend) while big, black and loud still doesn't seem like the right match. As an actress, she fails to impress me. And Lula needs to be played by someone who knows how to pull off comedy in high heels and skin tight skirts.
Overall, I'm dreading watching the movie while also hoping against all odds that somehow it will be worth my time. I know the story, I know the characters and I hope Katherine Heigl does too. Because if not, she's going to have a lot of disappointed Plum fans out there just like Twilight author Stephenie Meyer did when they movietized her books.