I love to read movie reviews, even for movies I have no intention of ever seeing. I guess I just like knowing what’s going on. I generally read all of Eric Snider’s movie reviews and supplement with Rotten Tomatoes or Slate.com. I’ve read a few reviews for the new movie adaptation of “Bridge to Terabithia” and, wow, I’d like to see that movie.
I read the book in the summer of 2005 when I was working my way steadily toward my goal of reading all the Newbery books. I don’t necessarily always remember my location or surroundings when I read, but for some reason I can visualize very distinctly the Sunday afternoon, the couch, and the light in the half-basement apartment. I don’t cry very often when reading. When I was a child, my mom read to me and my two younger sisters almost every night. I remember them all crying at the end of Peter Pan and the Wind in the Willows and being proud of the fact that I didn’t cry (or even, really, have an urge to). When I read “Bridge to Terabitha,” though, I cried my eyes out. I had to put the book down because I couldn’t read through my tears. I wonder if the movie has any chance of being that affecting and that powerful.
Sometimes I’m hesitant to see movie versions of books I really love. I’m worried that the characters I love so much or the house or schools or outdoors I’ve imagined will be replaced forever with the movie version and I’ll never be able to find my images again. And, often, that’s true. I’ll never be able to read “Little Women” without seeing Winona Ryder and Christian Bale. Sometimes, even when I enjoy the movie, though, I’m so attached to the book, that the movie doesn’t really faze me. Harry Potter, for example, hasn’t changed in my mind even since seeing all four movies (some of them multiple times). I see my Harry in my head, not Daniel Radcliffe, when I read the books. I see Hogwarts as I always have, not the castle the filmmakers used.
I really do prefer movies that aren’t based on books. I’ve never wondered if Indiana Jones shouldn’t look like Harrison Ford. Movies based on books, on the other hand, cause me a tiny bit of panic, because there is such a large chance that it could taint or alter my own precious experiences with a particular book. All this is to say that I clearly need to stop taking my books so seriously.