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There is nothing so disappointing as getting a movie version of a novel you like only to find out the story has been changed substantially and the cinematic version is horrid. I am a new fan of Ackerley. I am pleased to say the movie follows the novel and it was a delight to see it come to life in the screen version. Everyone in the cast is outstanding and the plot moves along quickly so the viewer is never bored. I would not hesitate to recommend this movie to anyone who admires J.R. Ackerley. I even enjoyed the fact that the look and feel of the movie seem dated which helped transport me back pretty close to the time it was supposed to happen.
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I saw this movie when it was first released and it always comes to mind when anyone mention a favorite movie. If you love animals and are sensitive to the "place" of gays in society just a few decades ago , you have to be touched by the interactions of middle class with lower class Brits,the straight world with the gay world and how one creature "EVIE" a German shepherd brings out the best and the worst in humankind . It is a sweet , gentle story with laughs and tears and the dramatic tension of wondering what will be EVIE"S fate . The acting is wonderful.The script is tight and every word of dialogue rings true . The final scene in the park is one of my all time favorites . You can't help but want to watch the movie again if just to marvel at how well acted and perfectly cast are all of the characters. Unfortunately the movie is out of print but shows up on cable every once in a while.
This is a good movie and it is especially enjoyable if you love dogs as I do. I never read the novel but I first saw this film years ago, and finally bought the video recently. To my surprise, the film now seems a little dated and even a little bit slow in parts. (But to be fair, American movies tend to move so quickly that many British and European films seem slow by contrast.) Alan Bates is terrific in the story of a middle-aged bureaucrat whose male lover betrays him for love of a female. When Bates agrees reluctantly to make sure his lover's dog is cared for while his lover is in prison, he finds himself really starting to care for the dog himself. Some funny visuals and a satisfying ending make for one good movie.
I saw this movie back when it came out. I was in high school and knew absolutely nothing about it. I knew nothing about the director, the cast, that it was based on a book, nothing. I remember it even today, over a decade later, as one of the best films I've seen. I recommend everyone see it. It is what independent cinema used to be, before it turned into the vast disappointment it currently is.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's nice that someone wanted to adapt this book, but there are a few big problems. One: Johnny is supposed to be very beautiful with "honey colored skin". Gary Oldman? It's like, as John Waters would say, Jaws without a shark. What's worse though is that the novel is told from the point of view of Frank. The film is too objective in its writing. Not that give a whit about Frank "growing" which he does, to understand Megan and finally respect her. The fact is the fun of the book is Frank's bad attitude towards these people who, in his view, and perhaps even objectively, if your objectivity doesn't match that of the screenwriter, treat him abominably. Instead we get this pathetic old queen with a poor dye job who and instead of identifying with him and his curmudgeonly prospective, we find almost painful to watch! In effect not only the "arc" but the whole feel of the story is undermined.
Alan Bates and Gary Oldman star in this film about a dog called Evie that
changes their lives. Johnny (Oldman) is sent to jail, and leaves his dog,
Evie, with his poor old parents, who barely have time to walk her, and
Johnny's stepfather abuse the creature. Frank (Bates) is Johnny's "friend",
or more precisely his ex-lover, (although this isn't spelt out as such in
the film) who befriends Evie, and is frustrated by her treatment. Frank
begins to attempt to get Evie away from Johnny's parents, and he becomes
quite attached to the dog. He struggles to gain contact to Johnny, to advice
him about the dog's treatment. Eventually Evie becomes the central issue in
To say the least, 'We Think the World of You' is fairly well acted by both Alan Bates and one of my favorite actors, Gary Oldman. But the film doesn't really go anywhere for me. I was even confused as to what time period it was set in. Based on the novel by J.K. Ackerly which I've never read, 'We Think the World of You' doesn't provide enough interest as a film. It touches a little on how to treat a dog, and a little on the reasons why owners love their pets so much- and even put up with their misbehavior, but as a story 'We Think the World of You' is hardly compelling and some plot points are never quite tied up- leaving the viewer unsatisfied. I also think the film felt longer than it's running time! **1/2 out of *****!
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