On this day, things were a bit difficult. A deadline didn't allowed me to watch a movie properly. This way, it was late at night when, in front a lot of work still waiting for me to get it done, I had no other way than to see a film while doing mindless work on a proofreading. In this scenario, a new movie wouldn't do.
Netflix came to my rescue once more. There, in of o their odd lists (who creates that criteria I don't know), I saw a series of adaptations of Nora Roberts books produced by Showtime for television. I've saw them years ago, on Cable, but wasn't sure about High Noon. So, laptop living up to its name, a topics list to check, I had the company of this film for a while. I'm aware that it is not the way to watch a movie, but, hey... there's no strict rule here except that I would see a film per day... And I'm not ready to give up to omad yet, even on days that I'm super tired and swamped by work.
A few days ago, I was surfing channels on cable when I decided to stop in front of Begin Again, a dear movie to me. The scene was the one in which Keira Kneightley and Mark Rufallo share their play lists on the phone. At first, she is horrified by that: but there's many guilty pleasures in here, she cries. Well, that's one concept that I don't understand.
Nora Roberts was first published by Harlequin, with a profusion of popular romances in the newsstands near us. She was among the eclectic party of authors that were around when I started non-stopping reading at the age of 11/12. After, her romances became NY Times best sellers (not a difficulty, I know). My friends could roll their eyes to me about Roberts (except the few that enjoyed her books too). But the truth is, despite all the nonsense aspects of her stories, some of them make a lot of sense to me. This way, when English pocket books started to be available on the biggest bookstores in my square-on-the-map town (as Fnac, for example), I decided to read her not yet translated to Portuguese books in English - even with an insufficient knowledge of the language. That was ok, actually, because all her books are pretty much the same in fact.... And that's why I'm here, talking to you in a language that is not my own (any complaints, you should blame Roberts... and Friends :).
She was a reference in popular romantic novels until few years ago, but that has being changing from some time now, as I've said here before. Another difference is that Roberts is an old lady now, and her books have being more about remodeling houses than their romantic characters anymore. What is expected and even welcome, if I think about it carefully. It is nice to see this change. But the main fact here is that, from her books, other English stories became precious to me. And that's one of the reasons why I cannot relate do the "guilty pleasure" concept.
The other is: one day, I was in the departures bookstore at the airport, waiting for boarding, when I found a Nora book that I haven't had read at the time. Despite being the fourth instalment on a saga that I also haven't read, I decided to buy it. During the flight, I was a bit overwhelmed actually. A story that most people could consider silly was speaking directly to me.
And that's why I love fiction. It reaches my soul in a way that only people are able to. And as happens with friends that are a big part of my life, or even strangers that pass by my way, I don't judge a story by its surface. They come to me, we met, and despite what people use to say about them, we can have a nice time together or the relationship of a lifetime.
That Nora Roberts' book I've told you about? It is on a shelf at home, reminding me of difficult aspects of my life and how I can look them in the eye through fictional narratives. High Noon was a brief and forgettable acquaintance, though. But at the first minutes on the movie, I remembered the story. The point here is, what is bearable on the books, is unbelievable cheesy on the movie (that usually happens when a story first know by words is told by images and sound and mediocre performances).
I think that, in order to really adapt a Nora Roberts story on movies it would be necessary to embrace all its corny aspects without fear. The attempt to compromise is no good at all, and in this movie this failure is evident. There's a good cast of well known faces - Emilie de Ravin, Cybill Shepherd - shackled to a script and production that doesn't want to risk much. So, it was not a surprise that I didn't remember seeing it. Overall, I must say that it was a nice company to the mindless work I wasn't able to to do without some distraction.
|High Noon. Directed by Peter Markle. With: Emilie de Ravin, Ivan Sergei,|
Cubill Shephard. Writers: Terri Kopp from a Nora Robert's book. USA/
Canada/Germany, 2009, 90 min., Dolby SR, Color (Netflix).