Breakfast of Champions
29 January 2000
I didn't see the film. It was never released in my city. I just wonder why you fail to mention in your review that this script comes from a novel by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. The story line you describe sounds like the book. It is one of the most intelligently humorous book I have ever read. Have you read it. If your review is correct, I am disappointed. I have waited for 6 years for this film to come to theaters.
Actually, I did mention Vonnegut, but only up in the section that lists "writer", which notes that it's an adaptation of Vonnegut's novel. You are correct that I didn't mention him in the body of the review itself.
No, I haven't read the book, but I have many friends who are big fans of the book (though none of them has seen the film) and tell me that it's one of their favorites.
I think my primary problem with the film is that its tone is loud, obnoxious, and relentlessly in-your-face. This approach can work on paper, and even on stage, but is very hard to enjoy on film. For me, at least. Also, some of the social commentary is a bit dated... an understandable thing when you consider that the book was written so long ago.
I do think you should go ahead and rent the film on video when it comes out (and it will!), especially as you may be more amenable to its tone than I was. I almost always see a filmed version of a book I loved, even when I know I will likely be disappointed. In this case, you may NOT be disappointed. Having read the book may prepare you for what you're watching in a way that I was not prepared. I felt as if the material might have been too quirky and "big" to easily work on film, regardless of the approach. But that may not apply to everyone.
Whatever you do... don't let my silly review talk you out of giving it a shot! I did think the film was ghastly, but it also has its supporters, few though they may be. If you do end up seeing it, drop me a line and let me know if you think I was crazy to hate it! I won't mind a bit, honestly.
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