Okay, skinny-jeans-wearing early twentysomethings with dirty hair, get ready to stand in line at the movie theater and reminisce about your youth (a.k.a. last year) because the film version of Where the Wild Things Are is due out in theaters in mid-October. OMFG!
Apparently this movie is an event worthy of a hipster trifecta, with Spike Jonze directing, Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs working on the soundtrack, and King of Precious Twee Himself Dave Eggers co-writing the screenplay.
I had the opportunity to catch the trailer this weekend (which recently dropped on MySpace much to the delight of the young'uns), and it caused me to realize something.
The book Where the Wild Things Are annoyed the shit out of me as a young girl.
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Honestly, I have no desire to see this film because I never had any desire to read that book more than once. I don't care how uncool it makes me, I will say right here and now that Where the Wild Things Are is a ridiculous, stupid children's book -- right up there with In the Night Kitchen (also written by Maurice Sendak, who must have had a habit of mainlining mushrooms or something).
Perhaps it's because I was such a hyper-compliant child who feared getting into trouble -- but I had no use for Max and his bad behavior. Sent to his room without supper? Good, that's what you get for screwing around, you little brat. And then what does he do? He goes off on some fucked-up mind trip with big animals that are supposed to represent his anger? Seriously. Get yourself a good child therapist and be done with it.
When it came to my choice of children's literature way back when, I preferred Judith Viorst's Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Now there was a book I could appreciate for its honesty and realism. Your teacher doesn't like your class work, you have a cavity, you have to wear terrible pajamas with railroad trains on them -- and in the end you must simply grit your teeth and accept it until you can get into bed and call it a day. There's no disappearing into some never-never-land full of hulking hairy beasts. No fantasy-fueled nonsense escapism. Just the cold, hard realities of life. And shouldn't we let children know that at an early age? Shouldn't we prepare them for the truth?
So I won't be going to see Where the Wild Things Are. Oh sure, I suppose I'll be the only one at parties and bars who can't weigh in on whether Jonze captured the ennui of a young Max in his wolf costume, but frankly, I don't care. Dealing with pretentious hipsters who loooove Spike Jonze is the adult equivalent of having to wear your childhood pajamas with railroad trains on them. Just one more thing you have to deal with in this world. Just one more thing.