Sunday, January 29, 2012

We Bought a Zoo - The Movie

I don't want this blog to become a list of movies that I've recently watched, but I thought "We Bought a Zoo" deserved a mention.  I'm not going to critique the movie, but I just wanted to shed some light for those of you who are having the "movie before the book" or "book before the movie" debate! 

I recently read We Bought a Zoo by Benjamin Mee - I thought it was a very interesting story and well worth the read.  After reading the book and watching the previews for the movie, I was super excited to go see it. 

I liked Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Maggie Elizabeth Jones (so cute, it was worth it just for her!), and the rest of the cast.  I think they did a good job with the storyline that was presented in the movie.  The movie is "based on a true story" - that is, don't expect the same story to be told in the movie and the book.  My movie date (mom) would lean over to me and say "Did that happen in the book?" and my answer was often "No" or "Not like that."  To make the book "Hollywood-worthy," they probably had to add in extra storylines, like the love story and extra family drama.

The main storyline (a family buys a zoo and attemps to make it a success) is still the same and there are many of the little funny stories from the novel included, but a lot of the movie is extra stuff that is added in.

So... don't expect the book when you go see the movie.  But the movie was good and I would watch it again.  (I may have shed a few tears...)

My suggestion... Read the book before watching the movie, if only for knowing what actually happened with Benjamin Mee's zoo experience.  The movie and book were different enough that it probably wouldn't matter what order you do them in, but I find the book would give you a better appreciation for the trials and tribulations of Benjamin Mee. 

My favourite quote from the movie was "You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it." 

1 comment:

  1. This is a pretty solid if not fairly predictably uplifting tale of a recently-widowed writer taking a 180 degree turn and buying a zoo. Based on the true story of Benjamin Mee, an English writer who bought an actual zoo in Southwest England, the script pulls all the right punches for delivering an entertaining family drama that has a little something for everyone.

    From the adorably cute daughter to the grumpy teenage son and the Dad who needs to move on from Mom's death, the script almost writes itself with character arcs all revolving around the family moving to the country side and living with the animals. But it's very well done - an excellent cast holds it together and the dialog is believable enough to keep the audience engaged and routing for the zoo's success.