After my tests today, I went to see The Great Gatsby.  It was 2+ hours of much-needed and enjoyable escapism.

Before I went, I had heard many things about the movie, some of which I ended up agreeing with and some of which I didn’t.  Here are a few of the things I had heard:

1.  “The music doesn’t match the Jazz Age.”

Agreed – sort of.  While Fergie and Florence + the Machine may not have been around in Gatsby’s time, and certainly don’t make the exact same kind of music you would have expected to hear at West Egg parties, I really enjoyed the music.  I was paying attention to it, so it didn’t necessarily blend in to the movie as seamlessly as soundtracks often do, but it wasn’t discordant either.  The times when it stood out were usually when the songs were so upbeat that you could hear people in the theater tapping their feet.  Fun!  That seemed like it was in the spirit of the Jazz Age to me!

2.  “Seeing it in 3D is worth it.”

I couldn’t really say whether or not 3D is worth it as I saw the movie in 2D.  I guess the bottom line is that when you see it in 2D, you are watching a film that is designed to be watched in 3D.  There are a few things (letters spelling out quotes on-screen, some face make-up, perspectives from a swooping plane) that obviously would have worked better when seen in 3D and were actually a little distracting in the 2D version.  That being said, I don’t think I’ve ever sat through a full-length 3D movie before and I’m not sure there was enough in Gatsby to convince me that it was time to change that.

3.  “People who read the book liked the movie better than those who didn’t.”

Eh, I think this could go either way.  The people in my group of friends who had read the book were actually the ones who were the most frustrated with the movie’s retelling of the story.  There was a lot of “showing” and explaining that didn’t happen in the book but was necessary in the movie version for things to make sense and keep moving.  I actually just reread the book (as in, this afternoon) before I saw the movie and I didn’t mind the changes too much.  The movie was also enjoyable as a stand-alone story for those who weren’t familiar with the book.  If I had to choose, I’d pick the book hands down, but that’s the way it always goes for me.  🙂

Have you seen The Great Gatsby?  Any thoughts?  Any other good summer movies you’d recommend seeing in the theaters in the next couple of weeks?  I’d love to get your suggestions!