'My Sister's Keeper': About that ending...

My-sisters-keeper-diaz_l

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)

Comments (383 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2 3 26
  • Shane

    I can understand the fans reaction- when I saw the Horse Whisperer I was BEYOND FURIOUS with Redford for ruining the ending of the book- an ending, I might add, which is the single time I have EVER cried in reading a book- and it ruined the movie for me. I understood his reasoning for the changes and I respected where he was coming from, but it took me a long time to be able to watch the movie again and appreciate it because I was so upset at the changes. Even now, I watch the movie right up til the part that I know is WRONG and then turn it off. On the other hand, I know directors have a vision and we need to understand its not ours.

  • Jolee

    I read the book and enjoyed it up until the ending, which I thought was a cop-out that completely avoided the moral dilemma at the heart of the story. So if the screenwriter’s change actually confronts the issue and forces the girl to make a choice, then I’m all for it.

    • Leanne

      Anna did have to make a choice. Or did you not read the book? She chose to not help her sister medically to help her emotionally. She chose to stand by and let her sister die even though she knew she could help, so that Kate was no longer existing on the cusp of life and death. The girl only ever wanted to live and then when she finally has the chance she is killed, so cop-out? I don’t think so.

    • nickyt10

      I don’t agree, because you can tell when she said in ten years “I want to be kates sister” that she was gonna go through with the kidney donation. Just my opinion.

  • Adam

    That sounds like a horrible change to me. I hate when hollywood feels like we can’t take the somber ending. Life is somber. People die.
    http://tvdonewright.com/2009/06/26/tv-tonight-saturday-june-27th-2009/

  • kst

    Royalties? Don’t you mean liberties?

  • M.W.

    I am really disappointed that the ending was changed. What happened at the end of the book was so purposeful and made so much sense to me. The movie completely changed that, and not in a good way.

  • Francesca

    The performances were beautiful but that couldn’t make up for the fact that the film was about 20% faithful to the book. Not only did they change the ending but they took out the character Julia (who i thought was an important character), changed the character Jesse A LOT and turned Anna and Campbell into secondary characters (the film seemed to focus more on sarah and kate)also, they added a lot of things that just seemed really random. i think if i had not read the book, i would have really like the movie but i am glad that i have read the book coz it’s amazing.

  • Francesca

    The performances were beautiful but that couldn’t make up for the fact that the film was about 20% faithful to the book. Not only did they change the ending but they took out the character Julia (who i thought was an important character), changed the character Jesse A LOT and turned Anna and Campbell into secondary characters (the film seemed to focus more on sarah and kate)also, they added a lot of things that just seemed really random. i think if i had not read the book, i would have really like the movie but i am glad that i have read the book coz it’s amazing.

  • evolution

    Well, since they allow spoilers here. Would someone please tell me the original ending?
    I saw the movie and loved it. But I’m curious about the changes. Who died and why? What choice had to be made?
    About the movie and/or book: what was the son doing late at night when he went into the city and hung out with like prostitutes and stuff? It’s never fully explained and I was wondering if someone could help me out?
    Thanks

    • nickyt10

      I would tell you but honestly…read the book…its my favourite

  • Michele

    Hands down the worst film adaptation of a book is the film “Less Than Zero”. Bret Easton Ellis is my favorite author, and the movie completely changed the central theme of the story, and even the characters. The only little bright spot is Robert Downey Jr as Julian, but they still only got that character only half right. The film changed the main character from a jaded, coke sniffing rich kid into some sort of pseudo heroic wuss. One of the things that was so great about the book was Ellis’s ability to capture to the demoralization of a generation, and we were left without a resolution really. The film tries to assume and wrap up the story so perfectly and in a ‘Hollywood’ way, but the main character in the book never tried desperately to be the good guy or to save anybody’s life (as the film portrayed). No, he merely left unchanged and unaffected by the despair around him, which is a far better ending and depiction of Gen X.

  • Verolicas69

    Love the song at the end!! Jeff Buckley had such a beautiful voice!! NY tribute November 15, 2009 at Arlene’s Grocery!!

  • mjryan

    Changing the ending to a ‘happy’ one smacks of the old days of the Hollywood Studio system and the Hays Code, when married people never divorced, bad guys always got their due and they all lived happily ever after. Did the screenwriter and director not think we could handle a downer ending? I guess I just don’t understand the point of it. As for the commenter that wanted to know what happens in the book I suggest you read the book. It’s well worth your time.

  • Emily

    I saw the movie yesterday. I think the movie changed enough from the book that using the original ending would not have made sense. The movie focused less on Anna suing her parents and more on the cancer itself. In fact, the story didn’t really center around Anna at all. So, I don’t think the original ending would have resonated as well in the story that they were trying to tell.
    However, I think that the film should have been more true to the book all the way through, which would let the original ending make sense. Now it is just some weepy story made for the sole purpose of making the audience cry for two hours.

  • Lori

    If I had not read the book before I saw the movie, than yes, the movie was good. However, having read the book prior to seeing the movie, I was expecting the same ending as in the book. The movie was a truly big disappointment because the essence of the story is Anna being her sister’s keeper!

  • rutan07

    Having read the book and hearing from others what the movie ending is I have to say I prefer the way the movie handles it. The ending of the book, to me, felt cheap and a cop out by Picoult. Her whole saga is about the girl with cancer, about her dying, and to do a twist where something unexpected occurs made me feel as if Picoult had no clue how to write the ending her book should have had and so she dropped the ball. If the movie fixes this then I am all for it.

  • dani

    i really storongly disliked the ending in the movie! I myself have read the book, and when reached the last 2 chapters was shocked. You dont really expect the main character to survive but if you go back to the 1st chapter you understand why she chose this ending. Anna was bron to save her sister’s life and like any important person she accoplished her porpose in life, and kate needed to live hers still. The ending to this novel is the reason why the book has touched soo many people and why the author is amazing and to change it was a big mistake. But on the other hand i went to seee the movie with friends who never read the book and they thought it was amazing, so if you havent read the book or watch the movie i suggest watching it 1st or you will be very disapointed!

Page: 1 2 3 26
Add your comment
The rules: Keep it clean, and stay on the subject - or we may delete your comment. If you see inappropriate language, e-mail us. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field.

When you click on the "Post Comment" button above to submit your comments, you are indicating your acceptance of and are agreeing to the Terms of Service. You can also read our Privacy Policy.

Latest Videos

Advertisement

From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP