So a copy of the recent feature film version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was AT LAST available at my local rental outfit, so I took the opportunity to watch it last night. Though some severe liberties were taken with the novel's plot, not the least of which included the very reason why Zaphod decided to steal the Heart of Gold in the first place, it was good, lightweight entertainment. And I must say that the theme song "So Long & Thanks for All the Fish," is ashamedly catchy.
Some random comments which really aren't spoilers because you won't have the slightest freakin' clue what I'm talking about if you haven't seen the movie yourself:
-Umm. Since when was Ford Prefect black? Anyone care to answer me that? I know he's kinda supposed to be Arthur's worldly sidekick and all, but the black (or otherwise non-white) sidekick to the white hero is a tired Hollywood cliche, and this is a British novel. Must we? Not to mention that there is enough homoerotic tension between Arthur and Ford that if I put it on bread, it would be like, "Want some bread with your butter?" No way was Ford "Want a hug?" touchy-feely in the novels. Still, how they meet is hilariously done and totally original to the movie--and also decidedly homoerotic, in a comedic way, of course. "Fortunately" for all those viewers out there with delicate sensibilities, we have...
-The love interest. Since when was Trillian Arthur's primary love interest? I know, I know, the whole pairing of like-with-like and Hollywood's distaste for miscegenation makes this a not-surprising plot twist, but the way that they turn Trillian against Zaphod was vaguely annoying and definitely demonizes him in a way that the novels do not. Even more annoying was Arthur's confession of love to her at the end. And, of course, since Zaphod can't be left unattached, they have an original female character, the Vice-President, with whom he eventually ends up instead.
-Okay, Marvin was really, really cute. I never imagined him as a pudgy, short-statured robot, but rather something more along the lines of a lanky, slouching C3PO...but nevermind. Alan Rickman's voice was so utterly perfect for the character, and he remains my favorite of the entire series. By the way, Point-of-View Gun + Marvin = BRILLIANT!
-The Vogons play a much larger role in the film and, strangely, because the characters end up on their home planet and must interact with them in a somewhat non-antagonistic way, less thoroughly disgusting. They supposedly hail from a tremendously beautiful planet, but their planet looked a lot like Arizona. :P
-Hey, that was the rock star from Love Actually! I actually recognized him before he even took off that hood. (^^;
-So the Earth is remade by the end, though why, if all the mice intend to do is amputate Arthur's brain for the answer to the Question, is never made clear. In any case, I guess this means that, if there is a sequel, it will diverge even more completely from Adams's work. Huh. Well, really, I don't think the movie did that well in theaters when it came out, so I'd be rather surprised if they do decide to do a sequel.