Sunday, June 28, 2009

My Sister's Keeper: Book vs Film

As you learned in my first post I am a big fan of movies AND books. I love to read books and then see the movies to compare and contrast. In my opinion, there has never been a book made into a movie that has done the book the justice it deserves. So today I went to see My Sister's Keeper after finishing the book by Jodi Picoult last week. Having the book very fresh in my mind made watching this movie very difficult. A warning to all readers - if you have not seen and/or read this story and wish to some time in the future please do not read this blog until you have done so, any and possibly all main plot points may be touched on. If you are not sure if you want to read this story I highly recommend it - a very touching story about a family going through very hard times.

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

This book is the story about the Fitzgerald family. Anna Fitzgerald (13) is a girl who was "created" for the purpose of saving her sister Kate (16) who is dying from a rare form of Leukimea. The story starts with Anna going to Cambell Alexander (a lawyer) to gain medical emancipation from her parents because she is sick of being a donor for her sister. She sues her parents and is appointed a guardian ad litem named Julia. Julia turns out to be an old flame of Cambell's which causes a few issues. During the legal issues between Anna and her parents (Sara and Brian) you get to learn about the families past from the points of views of each of the characters. While the family is dealing with the legal battle they are all dealing with internal battles of their own. Sara Fitzgerald is trying to be strong and help her daughter survive. While Brian Fitzgerald just wants her daughter (Anna) to be safe and feel like she matters. The black sheep of the family, Jesse Fitzgerals (18), is dealing with his sisters illness in his own way. He has always been a "screw up" causing problems at school, doing drugs, and drinking/making alcohol. Now he is hitting an all time low in which he is starting fires all around town in abandonded buildings. All of this is happening while Kate is trying to find peace with the fact that she is dying and her family can not handle it. She is, in my oppinion, the strongest person in the story - she has fought for so long and is now ready to die even if her family is ready to let her go. I am missing a lot of major points of the book but do not want to go in and give everything away... now I am going to discuss the movie - which will focus mainly on my qualms.

My Sister's Keeper - the film

Now, if you have never read the books - this will be a very touching film about a family dealing with a sick family member. My first major issue with it was the less than great acting by some major actors including Cameran Diaz and Alec Baldwin. This issue is cleared up a little throughout the movie but I did not think that their talents were up to par. My next issue was the completely unnecessary changes from the book that rewened
the story completely. The biggest change was the end (now if you have not read this book or watched this movie DO NOT READ THE REST OF THIS BLOG) In the book, Anna dies in a car accident on her way to the hospital to see her sister after she wins the court case. After her death her kidney is harvisted and given to Kate and she lives another 5 years or better to tell the tale. In the movie, Kate dies leaving the family to mourn her death and celebrate her life. When I read the book I was sad and not sure if I liked the ending - the movie ends how you are expecting it to end, but it completely changes the story. Another major thing that they messed up what Jesse. In the book he is a black sheep who lives in the Fitzgerald's garage and is basically the child that Sara and Brian gave up on - and in the movie he is a regular part of the family. I do not understand why they left Julia out of the movie completely and kept Cambell's part to a minimum when he played a great part in the book. In the end the biggest question I had was why they changed the age of Anna - she is 13 in the book and 11 in the movie, and that made no sense to me.

I am sorry if my babbling doesn't make a lot of sense - i'm new and this compare and contrast thing and also to blogging in general. Please, if you have any comments or topics to add to this add comments and we can start a discussion.

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