I’ve read it. I’ve reviewed it. And now I’ve watched the movie.
If you’ve read My Sister’s Keeper, I urge you not to watch the film. Cameron Diaz does put on a great performance; Sofia Vassilieva and Abigail Breslin portray Kate and Anna’s heartfelt relationship beautifully; and yes, you’ll cry from start to finish. But the movie is so far removed from the book that you’ll wish you never bothered.
Sara, played by Diaz, is way too easy-going and flippy for my liking; I had imagined her to be more uptight and a little more aged. Jesse’s fire-starting habit isn’t even alluded to, rendering him an almost completely irrelevant character. Campbell, who I had imagined as young and handsome, was played by Alec Baldwin (possibly handsome, but definitely not young). Who will play funky, heartbroken Julia, I wondered… shortly before realising that Julia isn’t even in it! As far as the plot is concerned, I found myself saying, “it never happened like that” time and time again.
There was no romantic Julia and Campbell sub-plot; there were under-developed characters; under-developed and unconvincing relationships; a botched effort in representing the narrative technique; and then I reached the end. The ending is the complete opposite of the book, and this drastic and unapologetic change was the final straw for me.
Today, Hollywood uses the phrase ‘based on’ just a little too lightly for my liking and it seems as though the title of a book is merely an endorsement for the film, to make a quick buck. And it’s a shame, as this movie is a missed opportunity of colossal proportions.
For those who have not read My Sister’s Keeper I’m sure that this is a perfectly fine film, but for me, it enforces my belief that the movie is rarely ever as good as the book.
Have you watched the movie after the book? What did you think?