Doncha just hate it when you read a book and then see the movie and it’s wrong, wrong, wrong! Like what was the director thinking, anyway?
Case in point, we finally saw “One for the Money” the other night. What a total bust. Hadn’t ANYONE connected with that production read any of Janet Evonovich’s Stephanie Plumb series?
I love Stephanie Plumb. She is quirky, outrageous and above all funny. So is the cast of supporting characters – at least in the book. Next to Stephanie, Grandma Mazur is probably my second favorite and there is no way that Debbie Reynolds comes close. Too put together, too young, too not a grandmotherly type. And don’t get me started on Morelli or Ranger! Or Lula.
Once again, I vowed that if I ever get a movie offer (yeah, like that’s going to happen), no matter for how much money, I will turn it down flat. It does occur to me, however, that in the case of Dear Medora (which I think would make a lovely film), my contract with the publisher might give them final say, not me. Oh well. I’m not likely to lose sleep over that remote eventuality!
But back to the situation at hand. Another book series that has been translated into film – in this case a TV series – is Craig Johnson’s Longmire. We have thoroughly enjoyed those books but when we heard the author talk about the casting for the TV version our enthusiasm waned a bit. Johnson was speaking at a book signing in Portland just before the series aired last year, and we never have been able to wrap our head around his rationalization for Lou Diamond Phillips playing the part of Henry Standing Bear, also known as The Cheyenne Nation. No way.
The only film version of any book that I think really worked was “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. After all, what wasn’t to believe about Gregory Peck as Atticus? Maybe all those books by Jane Austen also worked in their film versions. I’m not really sure. I never could get through the books – BORING! – but I did love seeing them come to life on the screen. I’m a sucker for period pieces…
But back to “One for the Money.” Bottom line, the Stephanie Plumb books are laugh-out-loud funny. I can’t imagine why Director Julie Ann Robinson didn’t get that. When I Googled the film just now, I was somewhat gratified to read: The film was universally panned by critics and flopped at the box office, not even recouping its $40 million budget (which does not include marketing costs.)
And as for Longmire – the first two episodes are now at the top of our Netflix queue. Stay tuned…