Winners! And Do Movies Fail at Showing Romantic Love?

book giveawayOkay, here are the books available for the giveaway! (The three stacks of horizontal ones.) You should be able to click on the pic to enlarge, if you can’t read it here. If you still can’t read the author names and book titles, ping me and I’ll tell you. The winners from yesterday’s author photo contest – and thanks so much to everyone who helped make such a tough decision! – selected via random number generator are:

Angela E. Taylor
Misty Evans
Keena Kincaid

 Yay! Each of you gets to pick a book and I’ll mail it to you! If any of these three pass, I’ll move on to the next random number. For the rest of you, there are 17 books there and I’ll be doing giveaways of them over the next several weeks until they’re all gone. First come, first served.

In fact, I’ll select one commenter on today’s blog to win the book of their choice!

So, we watched The Host last night. This is the movie made from Stephenie Meyer’s book of the same name, totally apart from her Twilight series. I haven’t read the book, though I heard many people liked it, some more than Twilight. It was a good story – about aliens that are sort of parasitic, that implant themselves into human bodies and take over their consciousness. In many cases the resident human spirit dies. In others, they’re shoved so far down that they can’t communicate. In one case, with a Louisiana bayou girl named Melanie, she can communicate with the alien, the Wanderer – or Wanda as they come to call her – and eventually influence her choices.

I don’t think the rest is spoilery, but stop reading if you don’t want to know what comes next.

Melanie/Wanda flees to the hiding place of Melanie’s small resistance group. Melanie’s lover is there. There’s interesting conflict because he believes Melanie’s spirit is dead and Wanda is just tricking them. Eventually he comes to see that Melanie really is still in there and Wanda herself falls in love with another guy.

The story pivots on this idea – that Wanda falls in love with Earth, with humans and with this particular man. The outcome of the story hinges on it.

But I’m not sure it’s convincing.

Knowing how well Meyer creates a completely believable love-affair between wildly different people/beings, without the useful assistance of sexual interaction, I suspect the book pulled this off. I’m tempted to read, just to see. If anyone here has read it, I’d be interested to know. The movie didn’t convince me, however.

I’m wondering if this isn’t why so many romantic movies don’t work. For all that writers are frequently chastised that a picture is worth a thousand words and that movies can convey so much more with one sweep of the lens, movies fall down on portraying the subtler emotions. Especially love.

Falling in love is such an internal change, complex and difficult to chart. The best romance novelists manage to do this without us realizing it. We fall in love right along with the characters, until it’s so obvious to us that they belong together that we can’t see it any other way.

I think A Room with a View managed to do this – where we knew they loved each other before the characters did. I’m not sure many other movies do.

Thoughts?

13 Replies to “Winners! And Do Movies Fail at Showing Romantic Love?”

  1. Personally, I’d rather read a romance than see a movie about it. So much is lost with regards to concepts that simply cannot be relayed well on the big screen.

    Of course, I typically find that the books are always better than the movies. My imagination creates scenes no movie has yet been able to reproduce to my satisfaction.

  2. I’m tempted to read The Host.

    As for romantic movies: Legally Blonde comes to mind.
    And my all time favorite movie about love: Love Actually.

    1. And yet, Legally Blonde – even while it’s one of my all-time favorites – is not *really* a romance. The main story arc isn’t about the love affair. In some ways, the same is true of Love, Actually – with all the intertwining stories, it’s more of a mosaic about love than a romance. To quibble!

  3. I started reading The Host because it’s my daughter favorite book. I got about 1/3 of the way through because I just couldn’t connect with the MC and I was bored to tears. My daughter said I stopped right before it starts to get good. She tried to get me to keep reading, but I have too many books to read to spend that much time on one that only really starts past a third of the way in. :shrug: I don’t know if the movie will be any better, but I suspect it has to. No movie can start that slow and survive.

    :ducks to avoid objects thrown by The Host fans:

    1. Isn’t that funny how certain readers have FAR more tolerance for the “it gets good 200 pages in” thing? Especially younger readers. I think we get more grudging with time later. That is, however, why I don’t read much YA – the characters are often difficult for me to connect with. The movie opens with a bang – action scene with many mysterious things going on. MC is captured by the alien seekers and implanted. It was a good choice.

  4. I have not seen the movie of The Host but I did read the book. It took awhile for me to get into it. I wish there had been more romance in the book, and that is why I was not all that interested in watching the movie. Yes, I like romance and love in all my stories and movies (even the action flicks I’ll watch with my husband). So, I can’t remember the last movie I saw that did a good job of displaying romantic love. These days it is all about the sex and “friends with benefits” thing. That isn’t love or romantic to me. That is two horny people scratching an itch. Books are so much better than movies I think. So much more time to build a good story.

    1. Interesting that you read it and it didn’t have much romance, Amy! I just thought for sure that’s what a writer like Stephenie would do. Totally agree on books vs. movies.

  5. Interesting suppositions here. I find that I prefer reading romance than watching it too.

    Also, as a side note – the Host is a poorly written remix of two different authors as far as concepts and world building.

    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/104342.Grass – Sherri Tepper and http://www.goodreads.com/series/42423-wraeththu by Storm Constantine.

    Yes, I read Host. It was a poorly constructed story. Then again Twilight is a pale imitation of Anne Rice, C. E. Murphy and Patricia Briggs.

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