Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Monday, December 06, 2010

Tangled & Matched & Jealousy

So last weekend I went to go see "Tangled." I wasn't much expecting to like it. The trailers made it seem like an "okay" sort of movie.

Well, consider me a convert. I loved Rapunzel. She had wit, spunk and fire. I think the hero, Flynn Rider, is far and away the absolute best Disney hero they've ever had (and this may or may not have something to do with my adoration of Zachary Levi - I haven't really decided yet). The villain is great, and for the first time the non-speaking animal sidekicks had more personality than some of the characters with lines! I laughed out loud several times, loved the romance, thought the climax was AWESOME, and I didn't foresee everything that was going to happen (I always enjoy being surprised).

Negative - the songs were fine, but pretty forgettable. This isn't like walking out of "Little Mermaid" or "Aladdin" where you'll be humming those very catchy songs - the songs worked well for the storyline, but you won't remember the melody or the words after it's done.

I really, really recommend this movie to anyone who hasn't seen it. Even my little ones sat through most of it (which is a huge testament as they usually like to spend most of the movie going up and down lighted stairs, which is why we don't go to the movies as a family very often). My two older sons also give their recommendation as they didn't think it was a "girl" movie because there was lots of action and adventure for them to enjoy as well.

"Entertainment Weekly" is one of my favorite magazines. It has lots of pop culture content and I especially love reading their movie and book reviews. They always pick one movie or book for a large, full-page review.

Imagine my surprise when I turned to the book review section and there was Ally Condie's "Matched" as the featured review. My mouth actually dropped open. It was an "I know her!" sort of moment, even though I've never spoken to, IM'ed, emailed, blogged, etc., with her. It's just when you get to be a part of the LDS writing community, you know of people even if you don't interact with them.

So I'm all excited for her and thinking how fantastic and amazing this is, and then at the bottom there's these numbers that show the sort of stuff that happened to her - like the bidding war that ended up getting her a seven figure contract (and yes, seven figure as in at least a million dollars), the movie studios that bid on the film rights (Disney won), a 250,000 first run print, etc. Then I sort of wanted to slap her (not really, but in a metaphorical, I'm out of my mind with envy kind of way). That went away, and then I was just blown away by what happened to somebody I kind of "know!"

I bought the book from Amazon, and it got delayed a full day (which was so annoying - I should have just gone to a bookstore and bought it) and I was so excited to read it because as I've mentioned before, I'm a huge fan of dystopian fiction.

I will say this - it was no "Hunger Games" for me. The themes were different, the action and world-building focus was very different, and while I read the book in one sitting, it was a book that I could have put down (which is sort of my benchmark). I will say that Ally Condie is an amazing writer. I found myself at several points admiring her prose and poetic voice. Beautiful language throughout the book. I liked the plot, and I liked it enough to pass it along to my college aged sister today to read (to which she wanted to know which boy she should be rooting for so that she could imagine him to be the hotter of the two - I gave her my two cents for who I think the heroine will end up with).

Without question, I will be lining up for the sequels (and I only have to wait until next November to read the second book, "Crossed!"). I'm very interested in what will happen to this character and where the story will go. I would recommend it, particularly to anyone who enjoys dystopian fiction.


At 12/06/2010 10:42 AM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

Matched is getting a lot of buzz, mostly, as you point out : "it's like Hunger Games, but different."

Here's my question: how does it compare to The Believer?

(Also, Zachary Levi is amazing!)


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