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Flipped




A wonderful story of love and self-discovery, Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen brought to paper the trials and tribulations of young love. The plot resonates with many young readers as it stays true to the roller coaster of emotion that every adolescent goes through. As Wendelin Van Draanan puts it, "you never forget your first love." When Bryce, one of the main characters, moves in Juli almost immediately falls in love. In an attempt to get Bryce's kiss, Juli stalks him hoping that his shyness is what is holding him back. As the story progresses Juli loses her affection for Bryce when she realizes that love is more than just appearance. At this point, Bryce takes on the roll of the lovesick puppy, therefore "flipping".The author of Flipped purposely set up the chapters as she did to show the two sides of what was ultimately the same story, the "roller coaster of love". As the reader, it was interesting to see two sides and realize that when in love people lose touch with reality. Draanen did a supurb job of illustrating the lessons of not judging a book by its cover as shown through Juli and setting yourself up to be a great person in the future as depicted through Bryce as well as his father. One would find this book very relatable due to its modern setting and wide audience appeal.
A self-acclaimed director and actor Rob Reiner has become a famous household name. In the summer of 2010, Rob Reiner came out with his interpretation of Flipped. As intended by the author, Reiner found that this story reminded him of his first love back in the 1960's and due to this he chose to set the story in this time period. In order to keep with the essence of this time, many characters and scenes were altered. Names were changed as well; instead of being David, Juli's uncle was Daniel, the popular girl Shelly was Sherry, Juli's friend Darla was Dana, and basket boy number 8 was Eddy not Jon. Similarly, when Juli is biking to school, Mrs. Stueby stops to pay for the eggs she received from Juli and tells her to buy pedal pushers while in the book she had told Juli to buy a rooster. An event towards the end was changed the most though perhaps because of the aspect of the value of money. Wendelin Van Draanen had intended there to be a bidding war over Bryce at the basket boys auction where two girls ended up getting him as their prize for $152.50. Reiner may have thought that this amount of money would have been close to impossible for child in the 1960's to possess and therefore left it out. I appreciate his take-off and found that his changes in this department weren't missed.
Although I pictured the characters slightly different, I felt Reiner made good decisions in regards to the characters he chose. Bryce, played by Callan McCauliffe presented the charm and confidence needed for the part. Although he wasn't the brown haired, blue eyed kid described in the book, he did a great job in the part. I also felt that Juli, played by Madeline Carroll portrayed her character well. In the book Juli seemed almost creepy while in the movie you could see that she had good intentions by the way Carroll narrated and acted her out. One complaint about the characters would be that Juli's friend Dana lacked the annoying quality that was made clear by the book. Juli had clearly stated in the book that Dana was not her friend and she often was irritated by her presence. Although a good character, the actress who played Dana I felt didn't follow the book very well . Also, Patsie Losky, played by Rebecca De Mornay, could have been cast better. She did not come across as the social homemaker Draanen depicted her to be. Overall the discrepencies in casting did not make the film of any less value.
The soundtrack for Flipped was well chosen. The music transported the viewer back to the 1960's with songs such as Pretty Little Angel Eyes, What's Your Name, Da Doo Ron Ron, and There Goes My Baby. The music allowed for a certain mood and ambience that was lacking in the book version. When Bryce and Juli stared into each other's eyes there would be music emmiting a sense of love and when Juli was working on her yard whistling showed the feeling of this activity. In between some scenes, Reiner chose to put in mediocre slideshow effects. Though sometimes seen as cheesy, these effects somehow fit the movie. Overall, these additions allow viewers to become engaged in the story despite a lack of reading the book beforehand.
In my opinion, the movie was better although it was a close tie. I felt that the book presented the theme better, but the movie was easier to follow and get into. The book became confusing at parts due to the switching points of view, but the movie used setting and characters to get around this issue. I also found that the ending was easier to appreciate since Juli actually went outside, showing her forgiveness for Bryce. In the book, she only thought about going outside to see Bryce but never actually followed through. I felt more detached and confused at the end of the book than I did with the movie. In both cases, this story left the audience with a warm fuzzy feeling. Teenagers in love could relate, younger kids could look forward to their first love, and adults could remenice on the time where they realized what love is. Wendalin Van Draanen and Rob Reiner deserve a great amount of appreciation for their execution of a fantastic story.



Watch Flipped Trailer

Check Out Some Pictures From the Movie!

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Juli smelling Bryce's hair (she says it smells like watermelons)


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The moment where Juli forgives Bryce, helping him plant the sycamore tree he got for her.



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The day Bryce and Juli fell in love (or maybe just Juli)