Based on my absolute favourite book: The True Meaning of Smekday
This is going to be a review of the adaptation of one of my favourite books of all time. I still haven’t made an actual review of it to link to you guys but one day it will arrive. Although I sincerely think the contents of it would be something along the lines of: “read these 17 quotes, aren’t they hilarious, oh here’s some context refer to the glossary for all the words that don’t make sense now look at this picture hahaha remember when oh yeah you might not have read it why are you reading this when you could read that dude go do it now trust this internet stranger”
Truly feeling like a hipster when I first read the book when it came out 8 years ago (le gasp I’m old) and finally the movie adaptation was released in 2015 with most people who see it never knowing that there was a book first and the book was better.
Yep, I went ahead and said it. The book was truly magnificent with a blend of random and deep and the movie chose a few of the lessons learned in the book, made the painfully obvious and then dumbed everything else down to kid level. Which I respect I guess, movies are a different form of entertainment than books and when you put that much effort into animating this world, it’s got to be something the masses and target audience will enjoy.
If I had seen the movie never knowing about the book’s existence, I still would have loved it though, the book is not the only thing that’s making me give Home an overall great review. I mean, I could spend the whole time griping about how they missed their chance of including teleportation, asphyxiation and just-add-water-sheep-lookalikes but I think I’ll pass.
Right away, Oh was a little over the top but it makes the plot by setting him aside as an outcast and making his transformation in the end more obvious. I bet the kids adored him and his silly antics even though I was more entertained with how they kept the stilted speech of the Boov similar to the style of the book than his ridiculous antics.
Side note: I was lie-on-the-floor devastated when I found out that they had changed his name from J.Lo to Oh because that takes away from the insane charm of the book. However, I was dance-with-strangers-on-the-street happy that they managed to cast the actual J.Lo as Tip’s mother.
Captain Smek was a character that I did not care for in the least. He was even more comic relief than Oh was and it was pretty much just annoying. The gelatinous and colourful body properties of the Boov were unnecessary in my opinion but I guess got a kick out of it. I need to keep reminding myself that this movie is in fact not aimed towards 20 year old girls.
Rihanna was perfect as Tip and Tip was the character that best translated from page to screen. They kept the fact that she was scared and needed her mother and was willing to do whatever it took to get there. She was strong and vulnerable and basically amazing.
The final main character was Kyle the traffic Boov and while he may seem like just some random guy that they added I basically died when I heard that he was actually going to be important. In the book, J.Lo pretends that he knows a traffic Boov and calls her Kyle and it’s just a random not-really-that-important interaction so I love how big a role he ended up getting.
The plot was so basic compared to that of the book but it had enough twists and funny moments to keep me entertained.
One of my actual favourite scenes was one they took straight from the book, direct quotes and everything‼ It happened in the mopo (although I forget if it was an actual mopo in the movie) slash convenience store where Oh and Tip first meet. All of that coming into the out and mimom and shoot forth lasers from my eyeballs and exploding heads being impolite was from the book and it made me so happy! If you are near me when that happens, I not only quote the entire thing along with them but I also fill in the rest with every fact from the book that you really didn’t want to know and are busy just wishing I would be quiet.
But who wouldn’t want to know that Gratuity found something called Tub! That came with its own spoon?????
In the novel, Slushious takes them across the United States but I found traveling across the pacific and around the world made the adventure even more exciting! There was just enough panic with the invitation bringing their enemies down upon them to keep you on the edge of your seat and all the Boov technology was really well done!
Some more subtle nods to the book I had forgotten about until now are the orange peels that Captain Smek was wearing as that ended up being all the rage to the Boov in Florida as well as Oh eating the urinal cakes in the bathroom.
Finally, the ending was really well done. The friendship and family tie-ins were very strong and real and pulled at all the right emotions. At this point we had strayed so far from the book plot that I could simply appreciate that finale for all it was.
At the end of the day, Home is an amazing movie with an amazing soundtrack featuring the first black animated protagonist which is pretty nifty and great. It’s cute enough for both kids and adults to enjoy and will hopefully expose people to the book it originated from so that they can experience true happiness.
Other things they missed out on in the movie:
- Bubble writing
- 7 magnificent genders
- An alien hiding in plain sight in Roswell
- Two separate organizations called BOOB
- And of course, 4 pages full of the word ‘meow’