Friday, August 6, 2010

A Series of Fortunate Books

NOTE: This post will be accompanied by a series of unfortunate pictures of my children.

We recently finished Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning (Book the First).  (I'm not entirely sure I have the punctuation right there.)  I had seen the movie years ago and enjoyed it but had never read any of the books.  I didn't even realize it was a series. (Which makes me stupid because it's right there in the title.)  I picked up The Bad Beginning at the library and looked at the back cover to see what it was about.  On the back was a warning from the author that this was not a happy book.  Indeed.  It's so over-the-top unhappy that somehow it ends up being hilarious.  It's brilliant, really. 

My kids didn't seem to get it.  They were very concerned about the Baudelaire orphans and whether or not Count Olaf was going to steal their family fortune.  Every time I laughed, they would ask why I laughed.  But they were completely engaged the entire time.  They said they really liked the book, but I could tell it wasn't their favorite.

The movie is perfection, in my opinion.  We only read the first book, so I don't know how closely it follows the series, but I really don't care.  This is a rare case where the movie is far more enjoyable than the book.  Any movie where a peg-legged Jim Carrey successfully woos a crazy Meryl Streep is just plain brilliant.  It's by far my favorite performance of Jim Carrey's.  He manages to be both terrifying and hilarious.  The kids really liked the movie, too.  They've already watched it three more times. 

(This picture is unfortunate because she sat down at the history museum and asked me to take her picture looking so lovely.  Later when I was editing it I discovered that she's sitting in front of a bunch of old beer posters.)

The book has a hilarious website where you can learn all about "The afflicted author," "The ill-fated illustrator," and the "bothersome books."  You can even read the first book online for free!  You can also watch the full movie on YouTube.

(This picture is unfortunate because my little baby looks so sweet at this outdoor concert.  Not until I saw this on the computer screen did I notice the old man's leg with the knee-high and loafer look.  I think he was taking fashion tips from my mom circa 1969.)

In short: the first book was good, the movie was better, and Jim Carrey is hilarious.   

7 Wisecracks:

Mandi said...

We love the Lemony Snicket series. We have all of the books if you would personally like to read them. They are great, kind of morbid, fun.

Nicole said...

I love unfortunate pictures. I love YOUR unfortunate pictures. If you hadn't pointed out the sock and loafer in the last one, I never would have noticed. That's how cute your baby is, dude. :)

And thanks for finding a Jim Carrey movie to recommend!

Jen said...

Were you ruining Harrison's life again in that picture of them on the bench? That is unfortunate.You are a genius for figuring out how to use your unfortunate pictures and also Mom's :)

Patti said...

I totally agree with Nicole. It was like the old woman/young woman thing where it's like "WHOA!" There is a.... whatever you didn't see the first time. All I saw was adorable Miles. (Loved the picture of your mom!)

Chelsea Monet said...

I think your photo of Chloe could be very symbolic. You have a child, full of innocence and loveliness sitting before colorful posters advertising alcohol. Her face is half in the dark, half in the light, symbolizing the ability that each one of us have to choose our fate. Yet, as you can see, she has already chosen, since her back is toward the posters and her face is turned toward YOU.

Hows that?

koryn said...

"Excuse me, I don't speak monkey."

Thank you soul sista. I (sadly) AM a fan of many Jim Carrey movies but this is my FAVORITE and I am so happy someone else whom I consider quite articulate and intelligent can appreciate the wonderful humor in this show. A Knudsen family favorite and glad you are on the bandwagon, or car on the railroad tracks with a phone installed. Take your pick!

melissa said...

Chelsea, you're too deep for me. :)

Koryn, right back at ya! "Soda. Soda. Banana."