Dave and I went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button on Christmas Day.
Thanks to Nonsuch Book, I was able to read the short story before we went to see the movie. If you don’t want to click over to her post to then click over to the story, here’s a direct link. Thank you to the University of Virginia for providing this short story online.
The only word I can think of to describe the story is campy. Benjamin Button is born as an old man, and I don’t mean an old looking baby, I mean white-beard-little-hair-on-his-head-able-to-talk-old-man. The story is more sad than anything. Even his dad is embarassed by him, making Benjamin dye his hair so he looks *more* like a child. Because Benjamin looks so old when he’s 20, he’s not allowed into college. I don’t want to give too much away because the story’s pretty dang short, but it reminded me in some ways of Metamorphisis by Franz Kafka, in that he’s never really accepted by his family, ultimately including his son.
With the story swirling around in my head, we went to see the movie.
THEY ARE NOTHING ALIKE.
They should say the movie is loosely based on the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, as the only similarity in the two stories was the fact that Benjamin Button was born old. NOTHING ELSE IS THE SAME. How he’s born is different, his parents are different, his wife is different, his kid is different, things he did in the book never happen, and how he grows young is different. I don’t mind that the movie is only loosely based on the story, but I wish they’d said that.
The movie was good, though a little long. The movie was more sentimental than the story. The narrator of the story (not the movie) seemed a little removed from the actual story, not allowing any sentiment to creep in. The movie showed the story in a more romantic light.
When I was complaining to Dave about the differences in the story and the movie, he said, “Well, would anyone want to see the story you’re describing?” “Absolutely not!” I said. But the fact remains that the only similarity in the stories is that Benjamin is born as an old man.
Tell me what you think! Have you read the story? Seen the movie? What do you think? Let’s talk!