Monday, January 23, 2012

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close


Today a couple friends and I went to see Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. My main reason for wanting to go is that Tom Hanks stars in the movie. Do you all know how I feel about Tom Hanks? You can read about my feelings for him in this post.

I wasn’t sure what to think about the movie and I haven’t read the book. The story it tells is one that we can all relate to in some way. Oskar Schell is 9 and his father died in the World Trade Center on 09/11. He and his dad always went on expeditions to find information or lost things. So when Oskar finds a key in his dad’s closet he believes this is an expedition his dad has sent him on one last time. So he sets out to find the lock the key will open.

I tried to read the book before seeing the movie but the first chapter turned me off. It rambled and the dialogue jumbled together. After seeing the movie I understand what the author was trying to do, but I found the first chapter so disjointed I couldn’t read anymore.

Anyway, that’s just me. But one thing my friends and I talked about after movie ended was whether it is okay to make a fictional story out of a real event. One friend said it just didn’t feel right to her. Honestly, I hadn’t even considered it because as a fiction writer that’s what I do; make stories out of real life. However, I could see her point.

Another friend pointed out that we do that with pretty much all of history and by way of example cited the movie Titanic. The movie is being re-released in honor of the 100th anniversary in April 2012.

First friend agreed and pondered the possibility that maybe Extremely Loud didn’t feel comfortable because we lived through it. The event is one of the major historical events of our life time. I could see her point there also.

In some respects, as an artist, I know I use my words and stories to process things in my life. I wonder if that is why Jonathan Safran Foer wrote his story. Possibly he needed to process and try to make sense out of the tragedy.

What do you all think? Is it okay to use something like 09/11 and make a fictional account surrounding it?


  1. My most favorite genre of books is Historical Fiction, so of course, I am going to say it is okay. But having said that...this particular event was VERY traumatic for all of us. I think you would have to be in a certain mind set to see it...Personally, I don't like crying in public, and I imagine I will, so I plan to wait and see it on DVD.

  2. Lisa, I love historical fiction also :o)

    My 2 friends cried during the movie, but I did okay with it. I think this experience was very traumatic for all of us. I imagine it was the same way for people who lived through things like the Titanic and other great traumatic events.