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Monday Popcorn: Water for Elephants
Apr 25, 2011

Helloooo and Happy End-of-Lent-and-back-to-bad-habits-Monday to you!

Remember last week when I said the only instruction on reading this blog was to feel free to disagree? Well, I have a feeling this week’s review is going to be a prime example of why I instructed you to do that. I do know this much – there is nothing that turns GOOD Friday into SPECTACULAR Friday like a pedicure, movie and NOT being at work with your BFF! So Cathy and I hit the 1:00 showing on opening day of Water for Elephants. Click here to watch the trailer.

A few things…one, the trailer above paints a much clearer picture of the actual movie than the one running all over cable television right now. Two, I didn’t read the book before I watched the movie. Gasp! I know, I know…but don’t worry, you’re in luck…Cathy did and she has authorized me to share her book-reader review with you today. Hooray! Three, I prefer not to chat about my own personality as part of this blog, but when it interferes with my feelings about a movie, I figure you need to know these things to at least comprehend the angle of my opinion. I say that to say this: I am an insane animal lover. I don’t say this often, but there are times when I think I like them more than people. Think about it: they love unconditionally, they’re always happy to see you and they forgive you when you do something wrong….with the exception of cats. Cats don’t care about anything except digging their claws into the corners of your leather couches and attacking you in the middle of your sleep...story for another time. Anyway, back to the movie.

This movie has an awesome cast: Robert Pattinson plays Jacob Jankowski, an almost-graduate of Veterinary Science from Cornell, Christoph Waltz is stellar as the evil August, owner of the Benzini Brothers Circus, and Reese Witherspoon plays his lovely wife-slash-star-attraction, Marlena. First and foremost, RPat is so fine in this movie! See ya pale skin and psycho Twilight hair, enter all-American boy from the 1930’s. Ahhh... Anyway, the movie is told from Jacob’s point of view as an old man, and starts where he is about to finish veterinary school. I won’t spoil how it gets to this point, but he ends up jumping onto a train that will hopefully carry him to the city, discovers it is a traveling circus train, connects a few dots and ends up working as the circus vet. The rest of the story unfolds as Jacob falls for Marlena from afar, and they get closer as they work together to train the circus’ newest acquisition, an elephant named Rosie. Her husband, August, is a completely asinine and evil man, who uses his army of circus-freaks to take out anyone who dares get in the way of his circus’ success…or his life with his wife. That’s about all you need to know, anything else will ruin the story!

Here’s where things go awry. I do think this is a great STORY; I do not think this is a great MOVIE. I am the kind of person who likes to go to the movies for an escape from the realities of the world, and I don’t like to watch movies that make me sad. Water for Elephants doesn’t quite have the Marley and Me level of sadness, but you absolutely can’t watch it and not be heartbroken if you’re an animal lover. Also, I think the love story angle was a bit underplayed. That being said, it was fascinating to see the re-creation of the depression era and especially the circus. The attention to detail is fantastic and all the characters are exceptionally well-played. Bottom line: I give it three stars. This movie is absolutely worth watching (once), but you won’t find me standing in line at redbox to watch it again when it hits DVD.

Finally, to the book readers – Cathy says they did a very good job adapting the book to movie, but naturally don’t expect much character development from anyone other than the main three, and there is a twist in the way the old-man version of Jacob ends up telling his story. I think if I had read the book I would have appreciated its adaptation to real-life, but my final opinion is that some books are better left as books. Leave the book-to-movie transformations to Harry Potter...hehe.

Alrighty then, peace, love and raindrops to you on this disgusting Monday, and remember to check out my blog at for more reviews and thoughts. And as always, if there’s a flick you’re interested in, comment below!


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| Apr 27, 2011 - 2:37 pm
Great review! What are you seeing for next week?