.. and only because I read the book I can infer what Moody may have had in mind. Otherwise to the average person they would be pretty irrelevant. The focus on the main parents the Hoods and Williams were both shown in two different ways as well. At the key party Elana Hood and Jim Williams had sexual relations. Though in the movie they never actually show them having sex, they do nothing more than kiss.
The watcher is left to infer if theyve had sex or not. Instead the movie shows this more as Elanas revenge for Bens cheating. Though in the book there is a graphic sex scene. “She (Elena) was pulling down her panties with one hand and settling herself across his lap” (176). There is obviously sex here and the motif behind it is curiosity.
“She (Elena) hadnt known about rock and roll, she hadnt known about racial strife, and she hadnt known about heavy petting in cars” (176). The scene of being in the car was something that Elana never tried and she was curious. Ben himself was curious about other relationships. That is what led him to Janey, sex. Not emotional attachment like portrayed in the movie.
The movie portrays a scene where Ben and Janey are talking. Ben starts talking about his problems with Elana and the voice from Ben (played by Kevin Kline) is very deep and emotional, you can hear the frustration. Instead in the book the scene exists, but you dont pay attention to it as much. You pay more attention to the sexual relations and the graphic nature that Moody has in the book. Paul is going about sexual exploration in his own way in the book. Paul is attracted to Libbets and he never had sexual relations before.
The book makes the sexual attraction and tension stronger than the movie does. Paul had his eyes on sex, being sixteen years of age most teenagers are. Though this scene was never shown in the movie. In fact the relationship between Libbets and Paul portrays more of the troubled teenager instead of the sexual desires that Paul had for Libbets. The movie shows Paul going to Libbets party.
They drink a lot, smoke some pot and take some sleeping pills. The emphasis is placed on the idea that these teenagers are getting hardcore hammered. They amount of substance abuse they have is so much that its shocking. The shock is put even more when Katie Holmes, who plays Libbets, whispers “Im so wasted” and then passes out on Paul lap. Though the movie is vague about why Paul gets the drugs. Paul gets them to try and drug out his friend who is at Libbets house with him so he can have sex with Libbets. The movie also didnt include the scene where Paul starts fondling Libbets while she is passed out.
“His erection began to rub against Libbets voluptuous ass” (188). This scene is pretty graphic and shows the sexual desperation that Paul feels. Instead the movie just shows Paul as some crazy kid who likes to take drugs. They show this more as an escape from the family problems that he is facing over the need for sexual action that is shown in the book. The backbone has clearly changed, but the movie also has some other noticeable changes for the better. For instance the start of the movie shows Paul heading back home from New Canaan after his train got frozen over.
This part is at the end of the book, so the movie actually starts on a flashback. Though during the trail Paul interjects certain deep sayings. He makes analogies by using the Fantastic Four comic book, his favorite comic book. For instance he says while the train is going to Libbets house, “All every day assumptions are inverted invisible girl is now visible .. Every person on a partially negative zone. They dip in and out of where things shouldnt work out they way they should, but for some people theres something about the negative zone that temps them and they end up going in, all the way.” This quote makes a lot of sense especially when it is played. The quote is played before all the cataclysmic events happen, this is the afternoon before the key party where Paul is heading to New York to Libbets house. The flashback ends with Paul coming back from the train ride, the same scene from the beginning is played over and Paul arrives in the station to see his puzzled family.
The movie ends with Ben putting his hands in his head and crying. The ending is symbolic in the context of the movie. Ben feels that his affair has caused his family to break down. The crying is a symbol of all the chaos that the family went through. Its like everything is done with and what have we done? That type of thought is what is provoked in the viewers mind. At the same time Paul and Wendy look at each other with shocked faces and Elena has a face of despair.
Their countenance amplifies the confusion that came after all the family problems. The director did a similar move to the movie “Kids”, which is a movie about trouble teenagers. At the end one of the main characters wakes up and says “Jesus Christ what have I done?” The idea of the shocking realization after the mistakes have been made is used well in this movie. It gives the same type of bone chilling response from the viewer. Though, the book doesnt end here.
The book ends with the narrator revealing himself, Paul, and him leaving his family. “I have to leave him and his family there because after all this time, after twenty years, its time I left. Finis” (279). The book shows that Paul has grown up from his familys confusion and his adolescent sexual nature. The book does do a good job starting every chapter.
The first few paragraphs of every chapter start with Paul saying something about the time period that he lived in. It really helped capture the spirit and setting of the book. The opening is really outstanding where Paul says, “So let me dish you this comedy about a family I knew when I was growing up. No answering machines. And no call waiting. No Caller I.D.
No compact disc recorders or laser discs or holography or cable television or MTV. No multiplex cinemas or word processors or laser printers or modems” (3). Its much longer than that, but the jist of it captures the period of the sixties, which is a completely different time period with different morals and different problems. The movie should have started with Paul on the train and going through that speech, it was really well written. The book and the movie are two different things both are remarkable in their own way.
The book captures the period of adolescence and the sexual tension extremely well. It also captures the time period of the seventies well too. The movie has really good acting and the emotion of a family. Its realistic and the dialogue seems typical of an average family, which is what the movie is trying to portray. The movie and the book are two perspectives looking at the same story. Its impossible to judge which is better, but instead respect them both for their merit.
The story behind both the book and movie is excellent. What makes it extraordinarily good is that all characters seem so real. Moody did a stellar job of humanizing the characters. This makes the story behind the book and movie so easy to relate to. The Ice Storm in any form of media is time well spent.