You Say Potato, I Say ‘tater

To read first or not to read first, that is the question…

My beautiful girl is the most magnificent creature!  We agree on most everything.  She stimulates my thinking, astounds me with her logic and thrills me with her reasoning.  Her mind is as infinite as the cosmos.  Even our conversations on mundane, everyday routines are an exploration into the vast majesty that is her graceful intelligence.  To ask, “How was your day?” and hear her expound is a re-awakening of sorts,  helping to further advance the feeling that I have found my own true companion. 

She reads.  And to say she reads is the utmost form of flattery because she reads just about anything.  BB should start her own book club.  She would have her own book store.  My love could be a literary critic or an editor.  She will absorb a good book in a matter of hours but stay with a so-so book with a dedicated commitment and/or loyalty to the bitter end. 

My fair one is also a movie buff.  Big on movies.  Huge.  And not just movies but films.  Artsy fartsy stuff that I have a hard time getting my head around because I am too shallow and view movies more as escapism than an art form.  I just more or less want to be entertained.  I was raised on movies.  I want a happy ending.  I live in a fairy tale. 

When I was a kid my older sister and I would go to movies all the time.  In those days it was not uncommon for us to sit through them two or three times.  My poor sister would end up carrying me home because I was too tired to walk.  As I grew up, a movies value was based on how many times I had seen it.  Once meant it was good enough to pique my interest, like Clint Eastwood singing ala Honkytonk Man*   twice meant that there were some points I had missed and wanted to clarify ala The Sixth Sense  three or more meant that it was great ala Casablanca  So imagine now how the following conversation developed.

We had gone to see the movie Shutter Island  (which I would like to see again) a few weeks ago and my lovely wife came home from Chapters last week with a copy of the book, which I began reading right away.  She had gone to the library earlier and checked out a copy of The English Patient and was on the verge of finishing it.  All was well.  As I began reading I would occasionally remark on the similarities of the book in comparison to the movie.  All was well.  BB finished The English Patient and decided to check out the movie, a winner of 9 Academy Awards, which we watched together.  All was, well…  

Imagine my surprise when in retrospect my BB did not enjoy the movie as well as the book.  I injected that I preferred to see the movie first and then read the book, she inferred she would rather read the book then see the movie.

I said, “Why would you want to see a movie when you already know how it ends?”  She replied, “Why would you want to read a book when you already know how it ends?”  I said, “I like to envision the characters as I have seen them on the screen.”  She replies, “I like to imagine them as they are described by the writer.”  I said, “If I read the book first, I usually do not like the actors who play the parts because they are not as I imagined them.”  She responds, “If I see the movie first, I usually don’t like it because it doesn’t follow the book.”  I said, ” I like to see the movie first because the book fills in what the movie leaves out.”

In the movie, The English Patient, the emphasis of characters shifted to Ralph Fiennes and Kristen Scott Thomas.  My BB was disappointed in all the information left out from the book’s main characters and explained as we watched that, “you don’t know what happened here or why that happened there because you hadn’t read the book.”  I said, “THAT is why you see the movie first!  So by reading the book all that information is filled in!”  She thought for a moment.  “You are right.”  I hugged her and smiled.  

“It’s not about my being right, it’s about you’re being wrong!”   

Droll, yes, but to understand that comment you’d have to see our movie… over and over again. 

From   to   and  then  until finally,   

Here’s to you, my brilliant and beautiful counterpart.


*All images appear courtesy of the Internet Movie Database.


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12 Responses to “You Say Potato, I Say ‘tater”

  1. Chantal Says:

    Dear Mr. C.,

    It’s about preferences and differences (of which you & I have a few, but not too many), not who’s right and who’s wrong….You didn’t include THAT part of our ongoing discussion in your post, which is ok, because I laughed out loud reading it, and I’m reminded, once again, of how happy I am being me, of how happy I am being me with you.

    And being “wrong” never felt so good 🙂

    Your true companion,

  2. Karen Says:

    I will read the book first, then if I think the screen writers could stay true to it, will see the movie.

    The one movie that followed the book the closest I’ve ever seen was “To Kill a Mockingbird”. (Yes, I have both. The movie on DVD & the book.) Runners up would be Shawshank Redemption & The Green Mile.

    I just wish Chris was a reader. He isn’t & doesn’t understand the pleasure that can be gotten from a good book. You’re lucky your mate is a reader. She understands.

  3. Marge Says:

    I’m with Chantal I like reading the book first before seeing the movie.
    But ninety five percent of the time the book is ALWAYS better than the movie.
    I want to see “Shutter Island” Leonardo DiCaprio is my favorite actor!

  4. Alia Markegard Says:

    This blog is great. How did you come up witht he idea? 8 5 5

  5. chirchi965 Says:

    I agree with Chantal, I read the book then watch the movie – always filled with disappointment. Sometimes I tell myself – don’t watch the movie you know what you are going to get, an absolutely different story that the director concocted so that the general audience – non readers will watch it and he still earns money, while those who read the book, will throw their shoes at the screen. If I do watch the movie and there is a book, I avoid it. Best way to be at peace with my brain.

  6. High speed movies online Says:

    I’m hoping you’ll continue this,posting good and quality posts! Thanks.

  7. Cyndi Says:

    I’m with you, movie first! Then when you read the book it fills in the blanks. I know, not all agree, but I think our way makes the most sense. If I’d have read “Gone With the Wind” before seeing the movie I wouldn’t have liked the movie! Can’t imagine that. The book enhanced the movie, and on down the line. I read “Timeline” before seeing the movie because at the time I didn’t know they’d end up making a movie of it. Needless to say, I did not care for the movie at all.

  8. chrisfiore5 Says:

    Hello Chantal,

    I’ll agree with you that it is all about preferences and MOST of the time you and I are on the same page, but this time… hmmm, come to think of it, we DID “read” each other before we “watched” each other in the beginning. So in this instance, I digress… but I do LOVE a happy ending… our happy ending. 😉

    Karen and Marge, I think you two would get along perfectly with my BB!

    Hi Alia, the hits just keep coming! I’m fortunate that way…

    Hey Chirchi! long time, no see! so glad you could come by and share in this conversation. I wish your brain much peace…

    Dear Cyndi, you probably influenced me the most when it came to movies early on. We laughed and cried together, we stuffed ourselves with popcorn, spent hours watching movies over and over again… then you would carry me home because I was too tired to walk… both of us just young children who shouldn’t have been out alone after dark. Those were the days…

    peace all.

  9. Nike Addict Says:

    To tell the truth, I am speechless. The Shawshank Redemption is phenomenal. I’am quite young movie fan, actually, this film is realised the same yearI was very young, and thence I am more accustomed films with unbelievable special effects, edge-of-your-seat action, et cetera. This film has zero of that, and nevertheless, it appeals so closely to me . The way Frank Darabont applies the story of Red to drive on the story, the beauty of the soundtrack utilized (note the mouth harp used merely before Red finding the letter close to the end). The whole film, from beginning to finish, from actions to music, is a beacon of desire, judgment, and redemption. The cast is mastered, Morgan Freeman(Red) in reality brings about a refreshing feel to the story, and that is exactly what the movie is, what a film should be. Highly recommended for each film fan.

  10. chrisfiore5 Says:

    I loved the film, too… but I haven’t read the story.

    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things… I hope I get the chance.


  11. Pine Desk · Says:

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