At the beginning of this summer I came across this BuzzFeed article that featured books that will turn into movies within the year 2014.
Here is the link to the article: Books to read before they hit theaters this year
I thought it’d be fun to try and read these books and then watch the film adaptations. Now that summer is nearing an end, I’m sad to say that I only got through about 5 of the listed books (although one was a series of 3 books so I technically read 8 books this summer, yay).
I easily get lost in books, whether I start a parasocial relationship with the characters or imagine everything in the story is actually happening to me, I love reading. Yesterday, I finished another book on the list, called Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Finishing a book is always so bittersweet to me, I love finding out what eventually happens but I hate ending the relationships I’ve created in my mind and I hate knowing that the stories come to an end (I feel the same way about ending a good TV series).
Anyway, I’m really excited to see the film Wild. The book is a crazy story about a woman finding herself. She comes from a family who had little to nothing, the only thing she had an abundance of was her mother’s love, until of course, her mother suddenly dies at a young age. This struck close to home for me because my mom is my best friend and imagining my life without her made me cry and instantly connect with Cheryl Strayed (the author and protagonist of the book). After Cheryl’s mother dies, her life becomes a huge mess, leading to her cheating on her husband multiple times, ending her marriage, moving from Minnesota to Portland, starting a relationship with a new guy and heroin, etc. Knowing that her life is amounting to nothing, Cheryl decides to hike the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT), starting her journey from Mojave, California and ending it at the Bridge of Gods on the border of Oregon and Washington.
The beauty described of her adventures on the PCT are so vivid and really makes me miss living in the Pacific Northwest. But this journey is not all soul renewing and pretty trees. One minute Cheryl has you wishing you were alongside her and all the beauty on the PCT, the next you are bedside her sick mother tearing up because you’ve never realized that no other love is stronger than a mother’s.
Without making this blogpost a total book review and spoil alert, I want to talk about how excited I am for the film. Reese Witherspoon, whom I love, plays Cheryl Strayed and I look forward to watching a movie where not only is a female the main character, she is pretty much the only character in the story. There are not enough female main characters in media, especially film, and that is incredibly disappointing since it is, ya know, 2014. Most, if not all, movies and TV shows, revolve around male main characters, and if there is a woman in the movie/show, she is either the main lead’s wife, assistant, or sex object. There is hardly ever more than 2 women characters in a movie/show, nor do these women talk to each other, and if they do, they are most likely talking about a man. Here is an interesting video that has examples of movies that do not have these female characters.
Another recent film that had a woman play the main/sole character was Gravity starring Sandra Bullock. Gravity & Bullock won many awards for this movie and I personally thought it was ok, but also out of this world. I think Wild will have more success because the storyline is much more relatable for both men and women. I’m excited to see a realistic adventure drama film that doesn’t feel the need to include futuristic technology, fast cars, an apocalyptic storyline, or objectifying women.