The book is always better than the movie.
I know one and only one exception to this truism: Stardust.
The tagline of this charming fairy tale reads:
“This summer a star falls. The chase begins.”
The star fell, you see, when a dying king threw a magical pendant into the heavens and it knocked her out of the sky. Whichever one of his ruthless sons can find the pendant will become the next King of Stormhold, a magical realm separated from England by a stone wall.
Whoever finds the star will find the pendant.
Also after the star is the evil witch Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer) who knows that cutting out the heart of a star and eating it will restore her youth and beauty.
And finally, we have Tristan (Charlie Cox), a young British shop boy who sees the star fall and promises to bring it back to prove his love to the very snotty and undeserving Victoria.
So the fantastical race is on, and it’s Tristan who finds the star first, surprised to discover not a lump of gray rock but a beautiful girl named Yvaine (Claire Danes).
The grand adventures begins—a tale filled with magic, swordfights, unicorns, spells, and of course, true love.
It follows the same basic plot as Neil Gaiman’s novel, but it manages to flesh out the characters and bring it all to life. It’s more vibrant and less serious than the novel, and the story is enhanced by the humorous touches.
And there’s a surprising array of small roles played by famous actors or those who would become so: Peter O’Toole, Sienna Miller, Henry Cavill, Robert De Niro, Ian McKellan, and Ricky Gervais.
I’m recommending a movie over a book.
No one is more shocked than I am.
This is part of my Movies I’m Grateful For series, running daily through the month of November.
Other films include: Splash | New Moon | The Lucky One | Thelma and Louise | Katy Perry: Part of Me | Crazy Rich Asians | Under the Tuscan Sun | Terminator 2 | Moulin Rouge! | How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days | Practical Magic | Schindler’s List | Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol |