I previously blogged about the 2012 book Wild by Cheryl Strayed and found it to be excellent. The story of her physical and mental trek on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) was fascinating. The 2014 movie based on the book, not so good. In fact, I found it to be horrible.
Perhaps the problem is the movie’s star, Reese Witherspoon. While Cheryl Strayed was likeable, or even lovable, Cheryl Strayed as played by Reese Witherspoon is not. Cheryl Strayed in the book may have been surprised by the challenges presented by the PCT, but she was not the unprepared ditz that Legally Blonde’s Reese Witherspoon was. And Cheryl Strayed in the book had serious pre-trek issues (drugs & sex), but the reader is drawn to her and roots for her; Reese Witherspoon not so much. Of course, I didn’t enjoy Witherspoon in Legally Blonde or Walk the Line, either. And I like her boyfriend, Thomas Sadoski, from Newsroom even less.
Witherspoon received an Oscar nomination for her acting, as did her mother Laura Dern. And 90% of the Rotten Tomato critics like it, and 78% of its audience. I, however, only give it one star out of four.