Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lots and lots of kissing. (And that owl-eyed guy)

My daughter and I had a fist fight this morning over The Great Gatsby.

As many of you know, I'm somewhat of an expert on the subject, being as I did my senior project on it in college and all.

Well, last week, a funny thing happened at the public library. I discovered a 2000 version of the movie in which Mira Sorvino plays Daisy, so I eagerly checked it out.

I finally got around to watching it yesterday.

"The newer version changed things up a bit." I told my daughter this morning. "There was kissing."

"There was kissing in the Robert Redford version too," my daughter said. "Lots and lots of kissing."

"No, there wasn't. And anyway, this version makes it look like Daisy and Gatsby had a . . . fling."

"They did have a fling," my daughter said.

"Well, they didn't have a fling in the book." I told her. "And I should know, I did my senior project on it, which makes me somewhat of an expert."

"Mom, are you kidding me? They kiss over and over in the book too."

I don't know how my daughter would know this because she still covers her eyes every time two people purse their lips together, but maybe we remember the things we look away from more vividly than the things we watch.

"You probably didn't even read the book," I said. "You probably just read the spark notes."

"Mom, I read the whole boring thing," she told me. "Gatsby gets rich and then stalks Daisy and then he wants Daisy to tell Tom that she never loved him, but she can't because she did love him, and then Daisy runs over Myrtle and Gatsby takes the blame and Wilson shoots Gatsby and no one even goes to his funeral. Except for that owl-eyed guy."

"What owl-eyed guy?" I asked.

"You know, that owl-eyed guy who was always in Gatsby's library reading his books."

How did I miss that owl-eyed guy? And all that kissing? I did my senior project on it, for goodness sakes!!!!

I remember everything else about the novel. All the heat. And all the boredom. Not my boredom, but the character's boredom. I also remember the curtains constantly fluttering about, and Jordan Baker constantly lying around. I remember them driving a lot. East to New York City, and then West back to Long Island, which to me was a very significant detail as I was sure it summed up F. Scott Fitzgerald's opinion about the Industrial Revolution and the Nouveau Riche of the Jazz Age.

"But New York City is West of Long Island," one of my professors raised his hand and said, in front of all my classmates and teachers, during my senior presentation.

"Well . . . " I said. "That all depends. On how you look at it. If you're looking at it from, say, Canada, New York City is East of Long Island."

Sometimes you just need to turn things upside down. That's what I learned from The Great Gatsby.

But anyways, good news! Very good news. Baz Lurhmann, director of Australia and Moulin Rouge, bought the movie rights to The Great Gatsby so it will soon be turning the movie world upside down.

You all know what that means, don't you? It means that Nicole Kidman will be playing Daisy--mark my words--and that there will be lots and lots of kissing.


wesley's mom (sue) said...

My son just read Gatsby for school. I thought I would die from all the moaning and complaining. I had to pretend like I didn't like it either, you know, so we could bond.

I don't remember much kissing. I mostly remember the hats. Everyone had such great hats. sigh. No one wears hats like that anymore.

wesley's mom (sue) said...

I don't remember the owl-eyed guy either, I'm gonna have to go look that up.

Garden of Egan said...

I am very embarassed to say that I've never read the book. Please don't hate.
However, I don't think I need to now because I got the Cliff note version from you and little Crash.

I hope there will be lots and lots of kissing. There should be no VL's anywhere. I hope you're still preaching that at YW's.

Barbaloot said...

I'm fairly certain that your daughter and I would get along so well. Her feelings about that book are similar with mine. Only she's nicer. :)

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Oh, Barb, you silly goose. You are the nicest person I know. But I bet you and my daughter would be fast friends. Will you be meeting at the wedding?

Garden, AMEN! And high five about the kissing! ha ha ha Of course I'm still preaching that to the YW. ;) I don't hate you because you haven't read Gatsby. There are many books that I'm embarrassed to say I haven't read. New Moon, for instance. But I'm just about to start it. ;)

Sue, hee hee I can't believe you pretended you didn't like Gatsby to bond with your son. Where is your integrity???? I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't remember the kissing. But you know what? I didn't notice the hats. You're probably more fashionable than I am. And I am more directionally challenged that you are.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Sometimes you just have to put your foot down when you daughter thinks she knows more than you... stop that NOW or when they move out they will think that ALL.THE.TIME! Even if you are wrong stand your ground girl... stand.your.ground!

Maybe I should read the whole boring book?

I'll let you know!

Homer and Queen said...

I'm with Sue...I just remember the great hats...and wasn't it R?

katie t said...

oh soooooo not a fan of nicole kidman so i HOPE not!!!

DeNae said...

Jennifer Lopez is my choice for Daisy, but I understand I'm a free-thinker.

And wasn't the guy from Law and Order in one of those movies? I'm pretty sure this was before he was a district attorney or a financial advisor.

And I'm proud of your daughter. My daughter is on her way to the UK on a British Literary Tour study abroad dealio, and I think she's having Sparks Notes Remorse. So very sad!!

IWA (e - va) said...

So i never read it either, and it being a school assignment, i really wonder how good it is.. and who picks them for the schools.... that being said.. I do love kissing.. A.LOT.

T said...

I may have to wait for that one to come out on video so that I can excuse myself to refill the popcorn bowl during all the kissing :) Or... maybe that's when I'll send the 15 yr old son to refill the popcorn bowl so that M.O.T.H. and I can enjoy it.

Anjeny said...

Yeah, I never read that book either so I wouldn't know about any boring owl-eyed guy. Maybe I should read it, you think I should? Will it grab my attention or will it bore me to tears? But hey, if they are making a movie with Nicole Kidman, I'm all for it then.

It's something that your daughter can spot all those kissing. If there really are a lot of kissing in there, you probably didn't notice because you skim over them like I tend to do at times when I'm reading. And since your daughter's eyes are so sensitive to the kissing scene, her reading eyes must have noticed them too since she has to closer her eyes, you think? I think she probably spent half of her reading with her eyes closed that's how come she knows there are a lot of kissing in there. Ok, I'm babbling.

I just drop in to see how my fav dummy is doing and tell you Shelle's got me on the guinea pig table over at Mars/Venus..pls, pretty pls come over and sing my praises, will ya? LOL

Braden said...

It's funny you bring this up. I was having a similar argument with my adolescent the other day about some of the more esoteric interpretations of King Lear and the extent to which Chaucer and Shakespeare borrowed from the Commedia Del' Arte tradition. At one point, he made me so aggravated, that the pinky I was extending while drinking my tea quivered with indignation to the point that several drops splashed out on to the crumpets...

Oh wait! At our house, when we have a fight it's about things like doing homework. Or not watching crude movies. Not literary interpretations. Sigh.

Braden said...

P.S. Encourage a continuing abhorrence of kissing for a while yet. Mono is an ugly thing.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Braden, how can anyone in their right mind encourage abhorrence of kissing? It's too much fun.

hee hee, Braden, I'm trying to imagine you with your pinky finger extended over your tea and crumpets. Was it oolong tea?

Anjeny and Shelle, just wait for the movie to come out. Unless you're really into how the flowing curtains contrasted against the stifled air symbolizes old money vs. new money and old morality vs. new morality. But if you're really interested I can just send you my senior paper.

Anjeny you look so pretty on Venus/Mars. I love that photo of you.

Iwa, ha ha ha Have you been talking to my daughter?

Queen, of course it wasn't rated R. ha hahahahahahah That's the funniest thing I've ever heard. There isn't even any kissing in it. Pinky promise.

Not that I don't love me a good rated R movie every now and again.

DeNae, Law and Order guy, yes. And he was great. Jennifer Lopez? That's a bit too free thinking for me. I'll bet a million dollars Baz picks Nicole.

And for the record Nicole will be playing my grandma one day after I get rich and famous. (Sorry Katie) ha ha. I better do that soon before Nichole gets too old.

I am Lorinda W- you can call me LoW said...

Do you remember when I (finally) read it and HATED it and posted about it and you schooled me on it?

I mean, I still hated it, but I understood it better after that. :)

Do you remember it East Egg and (?) West Egg in the book? I thought that was funny. Egg. haha!

I can't believe they are going to make it a movie, AGAIN.

At lease we have Zippy. :)

The Crash Test Dummy said...

LOW!!!!! I am so happy to see you here again. I have missed you terribly.

Yes, I remember East/West Egg. Did you read my daughter's Humpty Dumpty analogy post? hee hee hee Maybe she was on to something.

Hey, Martha, I'm so anxious to hear about Josh's OIA tennis match. Do tell sooooon!

Anjeny said...

Yes Crash, do send it. I want to read it and then read the book, I know your paper is going make reading that book way better. And thank you for the comment love on the other blog. You are THE best!!

Love ya much!!

I am Lorinda W- you can call me LoW said...

I've been here, I've been reading, but my computer is not well and won't let me comment often. :(

Which is hard for me to do... you know, read without commenting. I could never lurk or stalk.

Anonymous said...


Martha said...

I put Josh's match results on facebook, but maybe you don't check that too much. So he won his first three matches and made it to the semis which now qualifies him for states. This afternoon he met Jared Spiker the #1 seed who is incredible. That kid never misses and just hits one corner to the next super hard. Josh did get to duece once and that was it. So Monday he'll play for #3 or #4. That's probably just to set the seeds for states, so hopefully he'll do alright.

Kylie and Phoebe lost in the quarters and then played to qualify for states because they take the top 6. They won in a tie breaker so they are going too.

Kathryn lost in the quarters also, and then lost again so she's not going to states. States is May 5th on Big Island which is the same day as May day. Should I go? Should I watch May Day? Perry is worried about any expense and doesn't want me to go but won't come out and say it.

So we are supposed to close on Tuesday and he told Emilyn that we'll move out on May 30th. So that would give us a few weeks to fix it up.

Adam has been working for Great White Carpet guys and now he knows how to take out carpet and install it and do tile too. That kid is handy (plus he got good grades again). I'm proud of my boys.

Martha said...

Oh and Allison got a rough draw and hit the 3rd seed second round and lost. Too bad.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Martha, YAY! Thanks for the update. I am so happy for Josh. And happy for you that you close next week. AAAAHHHH! Can you believe it? And happy that Adam knows how to do carpet and tile and got good grades. How blessed are you? I say GO TO THE BIG ISLAND. You can catch May Day on DVD later.

Miss you guys today with all that tennis and History Day going on.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Anjeny, I wish I could send it, but I have no idea where it is. I better look around. ;) And Low, I thought something must be terribly wrong. Phew! We're still blog buds.