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The Film "The Accidental Tourist" Was Pretty Terrible, But The Novel Wasn't Much Better

1053 words - 5 pages

The Accidental TouristFrom its long-winded beginning to its dull and distorted end, The Accidental Tourist is an authentic recreation of Anne Tyler's novel. The only thing that scriptwriters Frank Galati and Lawrence Kasdan have offered the story is the out-of-fashion appearance of an era that was far from appealing. Though a few scenes have been removed entirely from the script, some of which seemed significant in the original text, most of the emotions contained in the novel have been successfully transferred to the screen. Though, that is not to say that there was much in the way of realistic emotion portrayed in the novel in the first place.One of the truly wonderful aspects of reading ...view middle of the document...

The Accidental Tourist is essentially about an emotional roller-coaster ride. Unfortunately, lead character Macon Leary remains deadpan almost the whole way through. Through narrative paragraphs in the text it can be presumed that he does in fact have an emotional response to most situations, but it is much harder to profess the covert feelings of a character on screen. This is the one instance where the "novel to script" translation gets very messy. A marriage breakdown is, as is obvious to everyone, a very stirring time for all parties involved. However, the novel expresses the exact moment when a divorce is suggested in a quick and soulless manor. The rest of the scene is dedicatedly explained, and all the scenic details are etched into the imagination."Will you look at that!" he said. "A mobile home's washed clear across that trailer park.""Macon, I want a divorce," Sarah told him. (Page 6)This text is preceded by a seemingly bad-mood induced argument, and is followed by half a page of discussion about shared housing. The following chapter surpasses the separation completely, focusing on Macon's new system of running a home, and occasionally mentioning a hint of loneliness in regards to his estranged wife. The script offers a new, easier to work with setting for this conversation, but it is done in basically the same form. Far from actually sounding credible, it cannot be argued against that this scene captures the essence of the original transcript. Bizarrely enough, Macon Leary does not seem to be terribly perturbed by his separation, ignoring the temporary insanity directly following it.Macon's relationship with Muriel is another ongoing theme in the plot that has been carefully recreated on the screen. The novel portrays this relationship as one which provides Macon with extremely mixed emotions."One minute you're ashamed to...

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