Hey. So, I just finally watched Shopgirl, that film based on Steve Martin’s novella of the same name. And I know this is “A Blog About Books,” but this is the first time I’ve ever experienced this and I think it’s worth noting: I liked the movie BETTER than the book!
The thing is, I love Steve Martin as a writer (and as a screenwriter, director, actor, stand-up comic dude in the ’70s, etc). I thought Pure Drivel was brilliantly hysterical, and I think L.A. Story is one of the most tragically underrated films ever. But Shopgirl… and I’m sorry, I can’t be very specific here, I read it when it first came out a few years ago… I remember I really wanted to like it, and it had some very beautiful descriptive moments, and some insightful commentary on communication between the sexes, but overall, I felt like there was a whole lot of telling and not nearly enough showing.
Which is why the movie is better. You get a bit of the wry “omniscient narrator” throughout, but mostly you actually get to see the characters doing stuff, instead of just getting a lot of exposition. And the cinematography is gorgeous – lovely use of color, and the lighting is very stylized, downright theatrical, even. Good performances, of course – couldn’t go wrong with that cast.
Okay, that’s it. I’ll go back to talking about books now. Thanks for indulging me.