When I bought 84, Charing Cross Road on Amazon, I discovered it had been made into a movie featuring powerhouse actors Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft as Frank Doel and Helen Hanff. So, after inhaling the book like a bag of my fave potato chips, I simply couldn’t resist plunking down even more money for the DVD. If given the chance, I would have staked my life on the film being incredible.
Luckily my life didn’t hang in the balance, because while 84, Charing Cross Road didn’t flop as a movie, it also didn’t achieve cinematic genius. Frankly, it was a bit boring.
Drat! Yet again, I had been sucked into witnessing a book I adored reduced to a movie that sorely disappointed. Actually, only one movie has lived up to its book for me so far…Gone With the Wind. And I saw that as a kid, so what do I know?
So why the heck do I keep going back for more frustration? Why do I let my enthusiasm for a good read outweigh the near certainty that the movie will obliterate the near perfect fantasy world I already created around a book?
My only answer is that when a story catches my heartstrings, I am almost powerless to resist revisiting it and seeing the characters come to life before my eyes. One day — soon I hope — I will realize my fantasy characters and settings already are alive right before my eyes….my mind’s eye… and leave it at that.
Anyone else struggle with this problem? What movies have you seen that disappointed? Which lived up to your expectations?