Home Is Not Where the Heart Is: Dreamworks’s Adaptation Fails Its Source Material


Listen, they’re cute, but…

Earlier this year, Dreamworks remade the book The True Meaning of Smekday into a movie called Home, which racked up a lot of money. However, in adapting the book, they ended up changing almost everything that was awesome about the book—so much so that I reviewed the book and the movie as two completely different stories. Now that the DVD of the movie is finally out, I thought it was about time that I compared the book and the movie, to further illustrate where the movie adaptation went wrong. The movie destroyed the book’s protagonist, theme, and diversity, leaving us with just a bunch of dancing squishy aliens. Spoilers for both book and movie after the jump.

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Home is Nothing to Write Home About

home movieWhen it was announced that The True Meaning of Smekday was going to be made into a movie called Home, I was beyond excited. The True Meaning of Smekday is a fun book about an alien invasion that’s actually about colonialism and imperialism, and it stars Gratuity “Tip” Tucci, a biracial girl who, along with her cat and an alien Boov friend, saves the Earth. How cool would it be to see this on the big screen?!

Well, as it turns out, it wasn’t that cool. As an adaptation, Home fails on almost every conceivable level. It’s no longer about colonialism or imperialism except in the most shallow of ways, and what’s worse, Tip can no longer truly be called our protagonist. However, because the plot of the movie is so different from the plot of the book, I think it’s worthwhile to judge the movie on its own merits, and write a post comparing the two when I’ve seen the movie again or when the DVD comes out. Unfortunately, as a Hollywood film, Home turned out to be a predictable, only casually funny, dull movie.

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Five Reasons You Should Read The True Meaning of Smekday

the true meaning of smekdayBack in July I wrote a Trailer Tuesdays on Home, an adaptation of a children’s book called The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex. After doing some research, I found out that the book was intended to be a satire of colonialism, and I thought to myself, “Luce, you should so read this book.”

So I did. And guess what? You should too. I have five very compelling reasons, as well as some slight spoilers, for you after the jump.

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