If Robert Pattinson looks like an intellectual Ginger, I must be the Queen Mother

1 Jun

Anyone who follows me on Facebook would know that I’ve been borderline obsessed with Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants the last while.

Maybe I just wanted to escape the confines of my hum-drum desk life for a circus adventure, but I was hooked.

After completing the book and watching the film – always fantastic to see how someone else imagined the same story – I can honestly award the prize of Worst Overall Casting to Water for Elephants.

Here’s why:

  1. Jacob Jankowski – Robert Pattinson

I have a personal grudge against whoever the casting agent is that keeps using this guy as anyone but Edward Cullen.

As Edward, Rob Pattinson is pretty much perfection – I can’t remember an exact excerpt describing the character, but suffice it to say that the Twilight movies got it right.

Dark, broody, intense – and with a bit of editing, shiny.

Robert IS Edward. He must accept this and stop acting now, especially in film adaptations of books I love.

Rob IS Edward. The poster even says so.

He looks NOTHING like the Jacob Jankowski in my book and mind. Why? Because he’s not a Ginger.

I know this may be petty of me, but the least he could have done is dye his hair. Or wear a wig. Or better yet, just not audition at all.

I’m not saying that the Napoleon Dynamite guy would have been a better choice, but I am saying that a Ginger Jake Gyllenhaal would have done it for me. And this is not only because old Jake is by far the hottest thing inHollywood.

 Also – I think it’s perverse that Edward is playing a guy called Jacob.

  1. Marlena – Reese Witherspoon

Much as I love Little Miss RomCom, she was a weak Marlena.

Also, she doesn’t have dark blonde hair and a freckle face. I take offense to the Platinum bombshell portrayal of a girl who is supposed to be pretty, but plain-looking.

If mousey hair and imperfect facial features are enough to get the guy in the book, I don’t understand why they shouldn’t be enough on the big screen.

Personally, I’m pretty bored of everyone wanting to look Photoshopped. It’s not Real. In the real world, us mousy blondes exist, too. And guess what – guys often prefer a girl who actually looks like a human being instead of Botox Barbie.

Then also, Rob and Reese don’t get the whole Cougar thing right.

In the book, Jacob is a virgin who ran away from college while Marlena is married and obviously, ahem, older and experienced, but they have CHEMISTRY. Like crazy.

Rob and Reese looked about as enthusiastic about each other as a cat about a bowl of lettuce.

Speaking of… The sex in the book is pretty graphic. Not tacky and porno-style. But graphic and honest.

The first encounter between Jacob and Marlena occurs after they have both been badly beaten up by Marlena’s abusive husband. It’s bloody. It’s urgent. It’s HOT.

If there was a sex scene in the movie, I don’t even remember it.

My first choice for Marlena? Emma Stone. She’s freckled, and I don’t think she’d have minded coloring the Ginger a mousey shade of blonde. Plus, if Zac Efron can continuously play 17 year olds, I guessHollywood can reverse the trend and have Emma play someone slightly older.

All-natural Emma… Marlena looks more like you


3. August – Christopher Waltz

I must admit, this character was the best of a bad bunch.

He looks like crazy old August is supposed to.

The problem is, he was a watered-down version. Sure, they showed that he was a cruel bastard. But did they show exactly how calculated? How complex?


  1. Camel – Jim Norton

This guy is supposed to be a decrepit, dirty old bum who’s addicted to alcohol and is mostly rude, selfish and gross.

Sure, he has his moments, but he’s not the clean-cut old man you see on the screen. 

  1. Uncle Al – The Invisible Man

 The worst casting of all – poor old Uncle Al (who, to be fair is as big a bastard as the abusive August) doesn’t even EXIST in the movie.


I don’t want to even BEGIN talking about how the plot itself was mangled – sure, the tale loosely resembled the book, but useless add-ins were made and the complexity completely lost.

Not only was the casting shit, but the screenplay took a story that was intricate, complex and visual and turned it into a lame, one-dimensional love story in which the lovers don’t even seem to want each other. Indeed – my biggest gripe with the August portrayal is that his relationship with Marlena comes across as almost a happy marriage.

Which it was not.

From my side, 2/10.






2 Responses to “If Robert Pattinson looks like an intellectual Ginger, I must be the Queen Mother”

  1. Rachela June 3, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    Awesome post Caro, not only because it is well written but because you have picked up on something which is truly more and more prevalent (or maybe I am just more critical in my old age!) that movies based upon books are just getting wrong. I have a rule for myself nowadays which is to either read the book or watch the movie, and never both, just to avoid the dissapointment in comparing afterwards. Keep the posts coming 🙂

    • caroerasmus June 4, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

      Hi Rachela!

      Thanks for the comment :).

      Maybe we are just turning into cantankerous old bats, but I agree. With the exception of a couple of movies, I find the books generally better.

      And sigh – will keep torturing myself by watching the films on the off-chance that they got it right…

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