Sunday, July 22, 2012

Why We Broke Up: a movie?

I came across this news item awhile ago, and I felt compelled to express my vehement disapproval of turning Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler into a movie.

This book is a novel length letter and relies entirely on that format to create a compelling story. The beauty of this book is in the details that Min provides about why she and Ed broke up. It charts their entire relationship from flirtation to ending, and points out all the little signs along the way that their time together would never last. It is a complex look at relationships, as breakups are hardly ever quite as simple as they are portrayed in most movies or television shows. One person hardly ever betrays the other person in an irreparable way; the far more likely outcome is that two people simply grow apart, they want something or someone else, they want to be single again, they don't want to make sacrifices with you, they're tired of arguing, and on and on. Often two people are perfectly good people they just aren't good together, and Min shows both sides of her time with her ex, the good and the bad. No matter how much you end up bashing an ex, there were always good times, too; you were with them for a reason. This book is a celebration of all the little quirks and moments that attract you to a person and an exploration of how all those little pieces don't always add up to a successful relationship.

I just can't see how they would take this novel and turn it into a movie, because movies are such a visual medium, and this book although lyrical, is not about scenes. This book is all about the words, Daniel Handler's beautiful words: "It was a secret time and place, you next to me, untraceable and out of this world." The illustrations before each chapter of the items in the box Min is giving to her ex gives you the feeling that you have found a failed relationship in a box, and they lend an intimacy to this novel that would be lost on screen.

I really hope this project never goes anywhere, because I simply can't bear to see another book I love ruined on screen (see the movie version of It's Kind of a Funny Story).

No comments:

Post a Comment