I’ll start this post with the requisite SPOILER ALERT for those of you who haven’t seen this weekend’s weepy cancer-centric Jodi Picoult adaptation. But for those of you who have, you might understand why faithful devotees of the novel are outraged by the Nick Cassavetes-directed film. Outraged enough that at one point, fans even started a Facebook group called “Save My Sister’s Keeper!!”
So what’s the big deal? Why, the film adaptation boasts a completely different ending than the book. Though the book ends on a somber note, killing off a character in an unexpected manner, the movie takes on a decidedly more Hollywood-esque ending, keeping said character alive. Even Picoult herself felt iffy about the change: “Having the ending changed would certainly not have been my choice. Iwrote the ending very intentionally because I wanted to leave thereader with a certain message. And changing that ending changes thatmessage. However, I am excited to see the movie and to judge it on itsstrengths.”
Now, screenwriter Jeremy Leven wouldn’t be the only scriptwriter who has taken liberties with book adaptations. Even Peter Jackson, the writer/director obsessed with staying faithful to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings saga, condensed and added new material to his film. But it’s a bold move to change an entire ending of an adaptation, especially considering that Picoult’s novel boasts such a large following.
So if you were Leven, PopWatchers, would you have changed the ending in the film? For those of you who have seen it, were you happy with the bold choice, or would you have preferred the movie to have stayed 100 percent faithful? And what’s the most egregious change you’ve ever seen in an adaptation?
More on My Sister’s Keeper:
My Sister’s Keeper: Lisa Schwarzbaum’s movie review
Nick Cassavetes: ‘I changed The Notebook‘s ending, too’
My Sister’s Keeper: EW’s review of the novel (2004)