August 13, 2012 | 2 Comments | Betsy Woodman
I saw a used hard-cover copy of the 2004 novel, These Foolish Things, by British author Deborah Moggach, for sale online for a mere $575.78.
Never heard of that book, you say. Here’s a clue: it’s about British pensioners who land in a retirement home in India and….
Oh, right, right, it was the inspiration for this spring’s hit movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
For the 2012 paperback edition of the book, not surprisingly, they changed the title to match the movie, as well as the name of the hotel (originally Dunroamin.) Also, the cover has Dame Judi Densch and Bill Nighy and those other wonderful British actors on it. I read the book this weekend.
Which is better, book or film? As the comedian answered: yes. Both have laugh-out-loud moments, but the book’s comedy is darker, not as feel-good as the movie. The plot’s more complex and cast of characters more numerous, since the pensioners’ children appear, too. You get into the characters’ heads more intimately. Some raunchy British slang and horizontal action give the book an edgier and racier quality than the PG-13 film.
The moviemakers simplified the story and moved the action from Bangalore to the gloriously colorful Rajasthan. They mixed and matched plot elements and characters. Also, they flew the characters over to India as quickly as possible, instead of having them hang around in the U.K.
I loved both book and film. Just to check a few details, I guess I’ll just have to see the movie again.