Unfortunately, yes. I did see this movie first. If I had known that this was a comic, I certainly would have read it ages ago. But sometimes, you’re just not in the know and you don’t realize it was a book first until the movie has ended. I’ve heard, and sometimes agreed, with that idea that whatever you experience first, you’ll enjoy better. It’s what you’ll compare the second to. But, rather than being able to pick one, I’m finding that they each make me look at the other one a bit differently.
I enjoyed this movie a lot, much more than I thought it would. It was very long, but I found that it still didn’t drag. At first glance, I thought that the book seemed just as long, but I found that I finished it pretty quickly. There’s more story told in the movie, as things usually go, and a slightly different story.
Things for the most part are exactly the same, and I’m amazed at how similar the movie was able to get to the book. I know that the director of this film has a different way of doing things, and prefers to improvise dialogue much more. But things were really all on the same page in the book and in the movie. Clementine’s (or Adele, in the movie) feelings are still so intense on the page, if not more so. Through the illustration and her own words from the diary, her emotions jump off the page at you. I felt my heart breaking for her. This story really was more about Clementine’s struggle with her feelings for a woman, which I can take or leave. Stories that focus on the struggle of a gay character can be frustrating for me, being that it’s often the only angle taken. In this book, Clementine is kicked out of her house after being discovered with Emma. I was trying my very best not to compare things to the movie, but I just enjoyed so much that they really tried not to make it so much about the gay shit, but about the intensity of her feelings for Emma.
And things end pretty differently for Emma & Clementine, which we learn at the very beginning of the book actually. Clementine dies, what I at first thought might have been a suicide. But at the end of the book, we learn that Clementine has developed a heart condition that went unnoticed. After Clem & Emma have that same blow up fight that ends things for them, Clem moved in with Valentine and was a total mess. She slept for months, and popped pills. The numbing of the pills hid the complications of her heart, and in a passionate reuniting with Emma, Clem’s heart had enough. She spent a few days in the hospital, and then died with her mother & Emma there.
She left all of her notebooks to Emma, and this book is actually the story told through Clem’s diaries as Emma reads them. It’s well done, but unexpected. After things just sort of fizzled out in the movie, it was tough to see a tragic death coming. But, with all of Clem’s intensity & emotion & struggle, it only made sense to keep that going with a tragic & sudden death.
All in all, I did enjoy this book. I tried my hardest to not compare it to the movie, but it was inevitable that I would have to look at the two side by side. I enjoyed them both a lot, for some of the same, and some different reasons. It’s definitely a different type of love story, that the romance nerd in me really enjoys.
If you have yet to read this book, definitely do so. I would certainly recommend reading the book prior to see the movie, I think I really did things in the wrong order. Both stories are great and worth experiencing. Also, the sex scene in the movie is intense, but it’s really not that bad. You can handle it, Fangirls, people need to calm themselves down a bit. But seriously, this book is very well done & beautifully illustrated. Not all comic shops have it, but most book stores do. I tip my hat to Julie Maroh, this is a pretty good read.
All images and characters depicted are copyright of their respective owners.