i was off work today, so i went to the 11am showing of "white oleander." i had finished the book just last night so i was very excited. now, i don't know why as every book i've ever read and then watched the movie, i've not liked the movie.

well... here i go again. BIG disappointment. HUGE. but probably because i LOVED the book!

so much of the book was left out and many of the parts left in were changed. very little of the dialogue was from the book.... and because i had read it, i didn't understand why so little attention was being given to astrid and her mother's relationship...the MAIN reasoning behind astrid's feelings and future experiences. well, that part was worked out.... they revealed the course of events throughout the movie instead of going in chronological order as the book did. in fact, they started the movie from the end and worked the movie in a quasi-flashback sort of way.

the character that plays astrid, the daughter... didn't really like her. the fact that she didn't look so much like her mother bothered me a bit... since in the book so much emphasis is placed on her looks and the fact that she "is her mother's daughter." the actress acted fine, but the reddish eyebrows to black eyebrows on a girl that is supposed to be VERY BLONDE to the point of having white hair... well, it bugged me.

speaking of that... OMG, renee zellwegger.... now, i have liked her in previous movies, and her acting in this one was fine, BUT... she is VERY VERY hard to look at in this flick. her skin looks as though she JUST had a chemical peel... very tight and very shiny. she has terrible wrinkles around her eyes, mouth and on her forehead. in the scene where she sits across from michelle pfeiffer, she looks about 20 years older than michelle. i kid you not. and it wasn't the makeup artist or how the character was portrayed in the book. in the book, claire (her character) was a beautiful beautiful dark haired, dark eyed woman. renee just looked old and worn out. it was sad sad sad. very difficult to look at her. i found myself trying to pay attention to other things in the movie so as not to HAVE to look in her direction. that can't be a good thing.

michelle pfeiffer was perfect. perfectly cast. beautiful, cold... i couldn't give her more praise.

the woman that played astrid's final foster parent was the perfect russian woman for the part.

and the guy that played uncle ray made you understand why astrid wanted uncle ray.

plus, her boyfriend, paul trout... you love him. he's awesome.

another big disappointment... in the book, astrid's life was really difficult, but she was making a way for herself. getting praise as an underground artist, traveling the world. in the book, she and paul never left the states. it's as if they were stuck.

i'm guessing there was simply too much book to cover in the 2 hours... but i thought they left out TWO very important foster families in the movie... those two places helped mold her in the book into the woman that she was. in the movie, astrid was left still being pretty dependent and needy. damn shame.

now, for those of you that have not read the book... if you decide to see the movie, i'm anxious to hear what you thought of it. i'm guessing you'll like it a whole lot better because of not having the book behind it.

*sidenote: i actually had to get up and move from my seat because two women in front of me kept talking, "well, in the BOOK, this happened....." so freakin' annoying.