Some things are better left alone. I recently read that the Jack Kerouac classic On the Road is being turned into a movie. I can’t imagine that this is a good idea as the filmmakers could never possibly translate this book, which is revered by generations of people, into a film that would be better than the book. Another, more tangible example is out on DVD this week. Charlotte’s Web is a beloved children’s book about Wilbur a little runt pig who is concerned that he is going to end up as dinner unless he takes action. With the help of a quick-witted spider named Charlotte he hatches a plan to avoid turning into Sunday dinner.
This big budget adaptation features an all-star voice cast, including Julia Roberts as the know-it-all spider and Robert Redford, Oprah Winfrey, Cedric the Entertainer, John Cleese, Reba McEntire and Kathy Bates with Dakota Fanning heading up the live action cast.
There’s an old saying, “You can’t put lipstick on a pig,” which seems appropriate here. Charlotte’s Web isn’t as charming as that other talking pig movie Babe, or the book for that matter, but it is sweet and maybe will encourage a few kids to turn off the TV and pick up the book.