One of my all time favourite movies is Practical Magic. I love the tale of two sisters, a family of witches, a curse, the small town feel, and of course, love. Love gone wrong, loving the wrong man, loving the right man. Every time this movie is on television I absolutely must watch it.
Recently I was watching it and I noticed that it was based on the book by Alice Hoffman and that she was credited with writing the screenplay. I realised that I'd never read the book and I always love comparing the book with the movie. I especially love it when the author who wrote the book also writes the screenplay. It gives me a chance to think about the writing process and the decisions that were made as a writer to bring it to the screen.
- In the movie the two sisters are brought up by their two spinster aunts after their mother dies of a broken heart when she loses her husband. Book-both parents die from a fire.
- Movie-all of the movie is set in the Massachusetts town where the family has lived for generations. Book-the two sisters escape in different ways and places.
- Sally's daughters are younger in the movie and don't have their own story lines, while in the book they have very different characterisations.
- There is a much stronger inclusion of magical elements and curses in the movie, as opposed to the book which is more grounded in reality and the theme is more about love then about magic.
- The movie is narrated from Sally's point of view.
- The book is written from the omniscient point of view and jumps into everyone's head.
So which do I prefer:
- I appreciated both the movie and the book, but I like the movie better. I don't know if it's because I saw the movie first and fell in love with it, and am now unable to move that image for the book.
- Or maybe it's because it has so many of my favourite actors in it: Nicole Kidman, Sandra Bullock, Aidan Quinn, Goran Višnjić, Dianne West and Stockard Channing.
- I also really loved the idea of a family curse affecting generations to come and their ability to find and keep love.
However, I'm really happy to have discovered Alice Hoffman and to see her impressive backlist. I'll be reading more of her books!