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Comments for What Dreams May Come: The Book and the Film

What Dreams May Come: The Book and the Film: 4/24/04

I came to this book by way of the movie and like many adaptations, the book and the movie though recognizable in each form differ greatly in some fundamental ways. Both are about a husband and wife separated by his tragic death that ultimately leads to her suicide. Both end with reincarnation. The names of the four main characters are the same: Chris, Ann, Albert and Leona. I can see where the descriptions of Summerland (aka Heaven) in the book inspired the CGI effects of the movie and of course the metaphor of Chris trying to contact his wife (and visa versa) through her paintings. The descriptions of Hell in the book clearly inspired the way it was shown in the film (although the film, does a better job at presenting Hell than the book does) but clearly the book was only a starting point for Ron Bass (screenwriter of the film). How Chris, Ann, Albert and Leona relate thematically and narrationally differ GREATLY between the two versions and I am torn between the two. On the one hand, I think the film is a tighter story for how it brings the four together. On other other hand, I prefer the happier circumstances of the book's back-story.

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