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While searching for a thread, I was surprised we don't appear to have anything for the book or the film...just some mentions in Hornby's thread and some nominations threads.

Anyhow, this works far better than I thought it would, and it is making me rethink some of my assumptions about the novel. I've taught the novel several times, and there has been a definite shift in student attitudes over the years...from Rob is funny albeit sometimes painful to Rob is a monster. I've always sort of assumed that Rob's quirks are endearing (or not) because of male stereotypes and gender politics. So there are some scenes that are almost verbatim in the series but have different emotional resonances. Part of that is delivery, of course, but I'm convinced part of it is gender as well. I actually think we are more forgiving of some of the things Rob says and does when Kravitz is doing them than when Cusack is.

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  • 1 month later...

Cindy and I finished watching this and I don't know quite what to think. 

It's hard to describe without getting into spoilers, but it was a project I approached with skepticism, gradually relented and accepted on its own terms, and then....

 

well, the ending. I disliked the ending intently. I felt it was different from the book (and the Cusack film). I guess there were other parts that were different from the book as well, but I think changing the ending changes the MEANING, and either I didn't understand the new ending or, I did understand it and found it deeply pessimistic bordering on nihilistic. 

I've noted that the last few years I've taught Hornby, student response has shifted a lot towards HF. A lot more students purport to hate Rob and find him a monster. I wonder if they've changed or time and distance from the 90s gives a perspective about what is just normal human condition and what is part of the culture of the moment. 

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2 minutes ago, kenmorefield said:

Cindy and I finished watching this and I don't know quite what to think. 

It's hard to describe without getting into spoilers, but it was a project I approached with skepticism, gradually relented and accepted on its own terms, and then....

 

well, the ending. I disliked the ending intently. I felt it was different from the book (and the Cusack film). I guess there were other parts that were different from the book as well, but I think changing the ending changes the MEANING, and either I didn't understand the new ending or, I did understand it and found it deeply pessimistic bordering on nihilistic. 

I've noted that the last few years I've taught Hornby, student response has shifted a lot towards HF. A lot more students purport to hate Rob and find him a monster. I wonder if they've changed or time and distance from the 90s gives a perspective about what is just normal human condition and what is part of the culture of the moment. 

EDIT:
Both the miniseries and the Cusack movie end with Stevie Wonder's "I Believe" (or a cover of it.)

 

Quote

Shattered dreams, worthless years,
Here am I encased inside a hollow shell,
Life began, then was done,
Now I stare into a cold and empty well
The many sounds that meet our ears
The sights our eyes behold,
Will open up our merging hearts,
And feed our empty souls
I believe when I fall in love with you it will be forever,
I believe when I fall in love this time it will be forever
Without despair we will share,
And the joys of caring will not be replaced,
What has been must never end
And with the strength we have won't be erased
When the truths of love are planted firm,
They won't be hard to find,
And the words of love I speak to you
Will echo in your mind
I believe when I fall in love with you it will be forever,
I believe when I fall in love this time it will be forever
I believe when I fall in love with you it will be forever,
I believe when I fall in love this time it will be forever
This time
I believe when I fall in love with you it will be forever,
I believe when I fall in love this time it will be forever
I believe when I fall in love this time it will be forever
And oh that love will call
And if I believe you're the only one for me
I believe, I believe, I believe, when I fall in love, oh
I believe, I believe, I believe, when I fall in love, oh
When I fall
I believe, I believe, I believe, when I fall
When I fall
When I fall in love

There is an element of hope in the lyrics that I find appropriate in the Cusack movie (and the novel) which just comes across as cynicism in the min-series. It's more like Natalie Wood at the end of Miracle on 34th Street -- not really believing but hoping that if one obsessively repeats over and over and over again that one does that it will somehow workout. Also, at the end of the novel, Rob makes .... not a transformation, but some small steps in the direction of self-knowledge and growth that leave room for hope. The end of the miniseries strikes me more as an illustrated AA parable...doing the same thing over and over and expecting next time will be different.

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