Little Children

A short post, since Logan airport was fogged in last night, and I wound up taking the overnight train home and not getting much sleep.

While I was sitting around Logan waiting to see if my flight was going to be canceled, I finally got to watch Little Children, which I had out from Netflix.  I’m not sure it quite came together as a movie, but some of the individual scenes — the pool scene with the sex offender, the book club — are so perfect that they were almost painful to watch.  (The sex scenes are also sufficiently graphic that I was more than a little uncomfortable watching them in the middle of a crowded airport.)

I read the book of Little Children shortly after it was released* and I spent much of the movie comparing it with the book.  Sarah and Brad are both more convincing characters in the book, and their relationship is far less about the sex.  (In the movie, they’re struggling to keep their hands off of each other from the beginning; as I read the book, they’re lonely souls looking for companionship, and are themselves surprised when it turns into something else.**)

I think that the narration in the movie, which I hated, is an attempt to include some of their internal monologues.  But the balance between the Sarah-Brad plot and the Larry-Ronnie plot works better in the movie.  Watching the movie made me want to re-read the book to figure out exactly what they moved around.

* I had to read the book — a) one of the main characters is a SAHD, and b) I took a writing class with Tom Perrotta in college.

** I still hate the plot contrivance of having Brad always use a double stroller even though he only has the one kid.  No one would use a double jog stroller if he didn’t have to.  They corner like a constipated elephant.

2 Responses to “Little Children”

  1. K Says:

    I loved the book and only liked the movie. I found myself noticing all the small details that were different while I was watching the movie. The fact that the bathing suit was from J. Crew in the book and was from a generic catalog in the movie, for example. For some reason that bothered me.
    And how the kids could magically take a nap at the same time – that part bothered me in both the book and the movie.
    but I agree the book club scene was perfect. As was some of the playground banter.
    We often use the double stroller for one kid now – the other seat carries the 3 baseball bats, 2 gloves, and 4 balls as we head to the park! (But before we had 2 kids – I can’t imagine buying one.)

  2. Zinemama Says:

    Oh yeah, the synchronized naps while the lovers have wild, uninterrupted sex upstairs? Totally killed Perrotta’s credibility as writer and a parent for me. And as others have pointed out, if a woman had written this book, it would have been ghetto-ized as “Mommy Lit” in a hearbeat. But since a man showed such insight – huh – into the lives of parents, well, let’s shower him with literary love.
    Now, I’ll admit, it was a page-turner. And very entertaining!

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