So what is a Boovie, you ask. It's a stupid term I just came up with, a combination of book and movie. Why create a term that looks a little like the word boobies? Two reasons. First, Boovies made the title fit more perfectly on one line. Two, many people will click on links if the word "boobies" is present. Great call, right? Thanks.
Now, to the actual content of today's writing is thinking: movies based on books and the hipster snobs that can't stop from commenting on them in the movie theaters. You can't do that! You can't call readers out like that; you're an author! Calm down, readers. I'm talking about me here (as is illustrated by the fact that hipster Belle and I look eerily similar in the above and below photos).
I cannot help myself from attending movies and sighing, commenting or being snarky about director's takes on snippets from books I enjoyed or lurved reading. People who love me and care for my sanity caution me, "Hannah, please, for the love of everyone watching the movie, just stay home. You'll only make everyone unhappy. Including yourself." That's probably true, but I have my reasons, and since you've stuck with me this long, you might as well keep reading and find out what they are...
Firstly, while this smokin' hipster photo to the right is reminiscent of a fancy author who just got signed and knows a thing or two about plot, characters and dialogue, the reality is that my childhood was a bit more awkward. That's right readers, as a kid, teen and, well, now really, I was a book nerd with very few friends. Shocking, I know! Tamora Pierce's Wild Magic Quartet, Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, J.R.R. Tolkein's The Hobbit, Orwell's 1984, and J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter were my Dawson's Creek. If you don't know that reference, pat yourself on the back. Youngins: think Gossip Girl or some other more current reference.
At lunch during my Jr. High and High School years, instead of deciding who I would sit with and struggling to belong, I took to a corner and opened a book. That way, I chose my company and my company was far more amazing than the petty gossip about who slept with who that circulated the body-sprayed hormonal air around me. I was walking to the gates of Mordor with Bilbo, damnit! I was falling in love with Pierce's Numair, as surely as Daine was. I had friends and they were real to me, as were their adventures, their friends, and their struggles. I had human friends, too, and they didn't mind that I often ate with a book on my lap and sometimes lost what they were saying in my hurry to finish a chapter. That's why they are mostly still my friends. They know when I'm lost in another world, and they find it endearing. That's also why they caution me and don't tend to take me to the boovies. The know that I care too much.
No one wants to be the person seated next to the person who is harrumphing about how Katniss was far more developed, conflicted and maternal in the books. How, as cool as Jennifer Lawrence is, that's just not what Katniss looks like.That shit's annoying. Okay, you think, if those people on the screen are always going to fall short of the friends you read about, why do you go? Cue reason number two: I grew up in a visual society. As good and as crazy as my imagination is, and it's pretty wild, folks (just read my books if you don't believe me), I still want to see my friends, my favorite worlds come to life before me.
For instance, when it was announced that Harry Potter and The Socerer's Stone was hitting theaters, I'm pretty sure my reaction can best be described by the "ERHMAGERD" girl. I was FINALLY going to Hogwarts! Though, in all honesty, I was too old to go to Hogwarts. Actually, I was pretty impressed by the films. I felt like most of the directors really got the world of Hogwarts, if some of the nuance of the characters had to be cut for length reasons. But let me make this clear: I was still a little let down. I wanted more of the funny little side story lines, some minor characters who had to be cut, etc. No movie has ever fulfilled my curiosity, my empathy, my tears, my fears, my passion like the book. But I still have to see it.
Think about it like this: you're a person who has recently learned you have a long lost sister. You've never met her, but for the past year you've written her (emailed her), had late night phone conversations and really got to know her at a distance. Finally, you set up a face to face, and you're terrified, but you have to do it! All that back story, all those shared moments and lost time is all going to come to a head soon, when the real thing is before your eyes. When you meet her, you still love her, she's still your sister, but she's not exactly what you imagined...
Human minds are powerful. We project what we wish, we cling to imaginary desires and inflate them. And when those desires are brought to life we allow ourselves to be upset that they fall short of what we created in our minds. But I still have to see that long lost sister. Or, in this case, I still had to go see The Hobbit in boovie form.
Because The Hobbit was more than a book to me; it was a human connection. It was the first book my father ever gave me. Since my parents were divorced and I lived far away from my dad, it became something for us to connect over. We had found a shared love. And later in life, when I pursued an English degree, I chose to live with him because I knew he understood my fascination with the written word. And when he died from a hemorrhage in the brain before I could finish my degree, I clung to those words. I reread our favorite books (including The Hobbit and 1984) over and over again. I lived and breathed my studies of books, and had a 4.0 for the last two semesters of my college B.A. to show for it.
So, when the world of J.R.R Tolkien came alive in boovie form, how could I not go? For us. Because he couldn't. And how could I not be disappointed, here and there, when the boovies failed to hit those parts of me that meant a shared connection with my daddy, my first love, my first entry into worlds outside of me?
I can't help it. But, I'll tell you what, I'll try to be quieter with my sighs. I'll try to understand why some people are content with the screen. I mean, there are so many good movies that were first books. But, really, they are separate entities, aren't they? They aren't that world that I fell in love with. They are different forms of art. And I'm trying to remember that, as I pull on my stretch top jeans so that I can stuff my face with popcorn when I go see Insurgent tonight. I'll try to refrain from pulling a hipster Belle, but just ignore me if I forget and snort over a mis-written line.
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H.M Jones is the author of B.R.A.G Medallion Honor and NIEA finalist book Monochrome, its prequel Fade to Blue, the Adela Darken Graphic Novellas, Al Ravien's Night, The Immortals series, and several short stories.