On Monday August 17 2009, I reviewed Kathryn Stockett's "The Help" on LinkedIn's then-new feature "My Reading List." This is what I had to say then: "This is the last book I read (finished in a weekend because of how amazing it was). I couldn't put it down. This period piece (set in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s) is told through different narrators, including African American housekeepers and one of the white employers, but each one has a clear and distinct voice. It reads like a memoir, not a novel, and I say that in the utmost of complimentary ways: the story is completely authentic and feels like it truly happened exactly the way it was written (though I'm sure only parts are based in reality)."
Though I wanted to find something more inspired to say, I had trouble finding words eloquent enough to match Stockett's own.
Today I learned (through Entertainment Weekly, admittedly) that the book has been rightly optioned and will be fast-tracked into a big screen adaptation. I should have peed myself with glee, but instead my stomach dropped with dread. Who is helming the project? Why, it's none other than Christopher Columbus. And therein should explain my disdain.
Friends tell me Columbus did a decent, if not great, job with Harry Potter but I can't speak to that. Admittedly, I loved Home Alone as a child (and still watch it religiously every Thanksgiving to date), but that was an original script so it's hard to disappoint too many creative expectations when there's no previous work to which to refer. However, he completely butchered the film version of RENT, something which I personally had been looking forward to for years and of which I, on more than one occasion, hoped to be a part. So needless to say, I'm not feeling too confident about how he will tackle these unique voices.
In fact, my eyes are bleeding in advance over his inevitable butchering of a modern classic. Again.