Nice - I was thinking of doing a comparison!
The only movie character I prefer to the TV character is Bre Blair's Stacey - she definitely has a big city, slightly snotty, older-than-her-years (no, goddammit, I will not call it "sophisticated") vibe. Aside from being the most horrific actress and having a perma-grin that gives me nightmares, TV Stacey played her like Mary Anne; she was disgustingly sweet and soft-spoken and never said anything too negative. Though props for having a real perm. That thing was MASSIVE in some episodes.
ITA with you about Mary Anne. I disliked Rachael Leigh Cook as Mary Anne, even though I like her as an actress, because she just strikes me as someone better at edgier or bitchier roles. Every time she says "I'm not going to cry" in the BSC movie I yell, "That's because you look like you're going to cut a bitch instead!" The Hulk may not have looked the part described in the book as well, but she totally was Mary Anne.
Rachel Leigh Cook would have made for a better Kristy than Schuyler Fisk. I guess they thought giving her the hairdo was enough, but the movie is so full of fail it's not much of a surprise.
About TV Stacey, I totally agree! Not that any of them were good but her...*shudder*
I remember when I saw the movie (I only saw it once, when it was in the theater) how let down I felt. I was hoping that they had just used the girls from the TV show. None of the kids they used in the movies felt "real" to me. It was soon after that I gave up on the books, too.
Rachel Leigh Cook would have made for a better Kristy than Schuyler Fisk.
OMG, SHE WOULD HAVE. I can't believe I didn't think of that, considering they're supposed to look alike.
I recently decided the reason the movie sucks is that it was just made too late. The whole movie is so quintessentially 1995 - baby doll dresses! Girl power soundtrack! - and the books are so rooted in the late 80s and early 90s. The whole fashion/slang/culture aesthetic is off just enough that it doesn't feel familiar to fans. Whereas the TV show is right there in the horrible fashion and shitty dialogue wheelhouse of the books.
I hate to say it, but Schuyler just might have gotten the role because she's Sissy Spacek's daughter. She does pull off the tomboy look but where's the cutting edge and fiery Kristy? Rachel looks like she'd actually be someone to fear if you were late to a meeting but what's Schuyler going to do if you're late? Whine at you?
That's an excellent theory about the movie tanking. Besides the casting problems, it was so out of its element. I'm trying to imagine the movie with an 80s/early 90s soundtrack and atmosphere instead of that "Girl, Girlfriend!" crap, 80s/early 90s fashion, and all that. I think we would have received it way better even if corny as hell. And maybe the girls from the show could have been in it that way.
I also think part of the movie's problem is that it's too Kristy-centric. All the other sitters only have very minimal subplots that are quickly glossed over (and some don't make any sense, like Alan Gray liking Dawn). I always felt they should have simply adapted one of the Super Specials.
I totally agree even though she was always my favorite. Kristy's dad coming back and her deteriorating relationship with the girls takes up way too much of the movie. Claudia's test is barely skimmed over, Alan Gray liking Dawn is just dumb, the neighbor lady plot tries to make her look "bad" when she's not, Stacey and Luca is just pedo-centric ("I'll be fourteen"= I'll be total jailbait), and all MA gets is people getting mad at her for not spilling the secret + Cokie trying to steal Logan for a few seconds. Mallory and Jessi get nothing, of course. The TV show had a lot of problems but it looks like it deserves an Emmy in comparison to how poorly the movie was written. "Yeah so Kristy...and then we'll discuss this problem for a few seconds...and then we'll discuss this...and then Kristy for another twenty minutes..." rinse and repeat. That being said I can't believe I thought it was cool when I was a kid.
I kind of like the mid-90s atmosphere of the movie, though. It came out when I was 8, turning 9, so the mid-90s and the books that we coming out then feel more like "my" BSC than the books I read a few years after they came out.
Nice comparison! However, is my computer going crazy or are there no images of movie!MA or movie!Claudia?
The images should all be there. Sometimes I have to restart my computer or use a different browser for images on here to show up. :)
It's not just your computer. The links must be broken.
That's weird they show up for me. D: Darn LJ. I'll do my best to fix it since I know it must look pretty weird without all the images!
I've replaced the photos. I hope they can be seen now!
Edited at 2012-07-10 11:52 pm (UTC)
I mostly agree with you, particularly about Kristy and Stacey. I disagree about Mallory though, and here's why. As evidenced by the screenshot you used, show Mallory was WAY too old to be a believable 11 year old. And I personally think she was pretty, especially in those later episodes. It's been awhile since I saw all of the episodes but I know I liked the later ones better and Mallory never really struck me as terribly dorky or awkward in the show. Movie Mallory looks exactly how I picture Mallory to look; cute and average looking - not hideously malformed or too pretty. She had the proper dork demeanor too. So my vote goes to movie!Mallory even though I do agree with you about the lack of chemistry with Jessi. There too I agree - movie!Jessi was as bad of a miscast as Kristy was, since Zelda Harris was too young and couldn't dance for shit. Nicolle I think danced a little bit in one or two episodes, but not ballet. What confuses me is why it was so hard for the casting directors to find appropriate actors? The BSC are all very narrowly defined...there must have been at least one black 11 or 12 year old actress who could also dance ballet (or at least could fake it). Why on earth would they cast a 9 year old??
I hated both Logans...but then I hate Logan period so it would be pretty darn hard for any Logan actor to win me over. :)
Now that you mention it, I seem to remember the show TRYING very hard to make Mallory dorky. That horrendous wig (not in the screenshot, but on other occasions) and then in one episode she just moans about her nose and makes cringe-worthy faces. I'd have to watch it again to really jog my memory. Movie Mallory suffered from not being very developed, but she sure did look like Mallory should.
I couldn't find the shooting dates for the film, but since it's usually several months before release, I would guess that Zelda was still nine or had just turned ten. Either way she's far too young and her line delivery was gag-worthy.
T_T Don't you wish Cam Geary was real?
Edited at 2012-07-10 11:58 pm (UTC)
As evidenced by the screenshot you used, show Mallory was WAY too old to be a believable 11 year old. And I personally think she was pretty, especially in those later episodes.
It's 50/50 for me because the girl who played Mallory had a HUGE growth spurt mid-series. She is pretty young and awkward-looking in the first few episodes, but she looked so much older and matured into her face by the end, when that screenshot was taken (and she turned out to be very pretty!). It's almost comical in its irony. The girl who bloomed into a gorgeous teenager overnight playing Mallory, the girl doomed to be a pathetic, gawky eleven-year-old forever.
I watched some more clips on Youtube and in MA and the Brunettes she look pretty awful thanks to the worst wig ever and awkwardness, but in the later episodes she looks great, even in a wig. Maybe 13 is the bestest age ever?! ;)
I completely agree with this! I loved the show when I was little, and I saw the episodes so many times. The actors actually kind of became cemented in my mind as the characters. When the movie came out, I ended up horribly disappointed, because I thought almost all of the actors were horribly miscast. I agree that Bre Blair was the only one who did a better job in the movie than her show counterpart.
So disappointing. I enjoyed the movie as a kid but still was especially dissatisfied with Kristy since she was my favorite. I was like "who's this whiny runt and where's the big bad president?!"
I honestly have to go with the tv show all the way around. Might just be a sign of favoritism since I preferred the tv show to the movie even as a kid. I just think the tv show actresses and actor either looked and/or acted enough like the characters. Maybe it's just a time thing for me. Maybe if the movie had been released before the series I'd be siding with all the movie actresses/actor.
Edited at 2012-07-11 05:11 am (UTC)
I definitely think movie Stacey looks more like Stacey from the books. Bre is gorgeous!
I find Mary Anne a tie. Meghan makes an adorable, longer haired Mary Anne while Rachel looks just like a real life, short haired Mary Anne. Both have personality down.
Ha, this is great. I agree with you on all of them. I reckon Avriel Hillman was BORN to play Kristy in the TV show. Even though I absolutely hate Kristy in the books, I don't mind her in the show because Avriel portrays her so well. Both Staceys are very pretty, but Bre Blair is stunning and exactly how I have always pictured Stacey. Both Jessis do nothing but piss me off. Larissa Oleynik is an awful Dawn and although I hate Melissa Chasse, she was definitely more suited to the part. I think they got TV Logan pretty right; the movie Logan is just... wtf.
I also think Meghan Andrews was quite cute and definitely my preferred Mallory. The movie was just goddamn awful, a total letdown after idolising the shows for so long.
I feel like Larissa Oleynik and Rachel Leigh Cook should have dyed their hair and switched roles. I like both actresses, but not for the parts they played. Larissa Oleynik is cute in a wholesome girl next door kind of way, and she has this sweetness about her that says Mary Anne to me. Meanwhile, Rachel Leigh Cook looks like someone who would be told she should be a model or an actress, and she could pull off the conflicting niceness and bitchiness of Dawn's personality.
You're right, they would have been better switched. Like I really wanted to like them in the movie because they were my favorites, but they just don't seem right. I always assumed that it was because the other actresses were totally unknown to me but I knew those two from other things and as much as I loved Alex Mack she just wasn't Dawn, but I can kind of see her as Mary Anne.
Or! Larissa could've been Kristy. S.Fisk could've been Mary Anne?
I haven't seen the movie since I was a kid, so I only have vague recollections of the acting involved. That said, I really like most of the TV show cast. They're not GOOD ACTORS and most of them don't look the parts, but they get the job done.
Avriel Hillman is ridiculously perfect. There's no point in comparing.
Tricia Joe actually looks LESS like my mental image of Claudia than Jeni F Winslow - I think because she has that vacant expression down so well. Which may be bad acting, not good acting, but whatever it is, it works.
Bre Blair definitely has the Stacey look and 'tude down better. Jessica Prunell is adorable, and less grating as an actress than most of the girls on that show, but she's NOT NYC sophisticated.
I give Dawn to Alex Mack, but that's mostly because Melissa Chasse was SO awful and annoying.
MA is a toss-up for me. Meghan Lahey is SO poorly cast physically - she's tall, doughy-faced, medium-length light hair...but she has that timidity that works. RLC is the better fit for the part, but she's very...confident-looking. Maybe it's just that she's pretty. I don't know. I don't love either of them, but the reasons are so different I'm just not sure.
Jessi is Nicole Leach for me, even though she looks NOTHING like I pictured Jessi. She's just adorable and very appealing. Zelda Harris's only one-up is that she actually has Jessi's complexion. (Though Jessi does do random dance shit from time to time in book canon, I think, so it's not TOTALLY out of character, maybe?)
Mallory, I'd give it to the girl from the show, but I have a soft spot for Stacy Linn Ramsower, because she was a frequent guest star on one of my favorite tween Nick shows of the '90s, Hey Dude. Every time a random little girl was needed, she was brought in. Probably most memorably, she was the kid Melody saved from drowning that time a pro swimming scout happened to be vacationing at the Bar None.
I pretty much agree with your assessments. I was 11 when the movie came out (aka, prime target), and I even remember afterward thinking it was kind of disappointing but wanting to like it so much that I tried to convince myself I loved it. I think it would have gone better if they had done the 80s approach instead of mid-90s as mentioned above, and I also think it would have been better if they'd done the plot more like that Ramona & Beezus movie that came out a couple years ago. The "overarching" plot is made up for the movie, but it's chock-full of bits that come out of the various books. I think they could have pulled plot points from a bunch of the books, and then used the camp storyline or something like that to pull it all together. Forget about the Claudia going to summer school, greenhouse, Mrs. Haberman, and Luca, and I could have done without the Kristy's dad business too.
As for the actors, I vote for all of your same ones except for Austin O'Brien/movie Logan because I thought he was nicer to look at. And by thought, I mean "still do". Otherwise, I definitely agree that movie Stacy is better and show Dawn is better. Larisa Oleynik would have been good for MA. I like the look of movie Claudia but do agree that she was vapid. HATE HATE HATE movie Kristy. If they weren't going to do anything decent with Mallory and Jessi in the movie, they should have just left them out and done a book pre-#11
I haven't seen either yet, but I've read the lovely Ms. 3_foot_6's snarks on the show and roughly 3 of the movie so I soooorta know based on clips and screenshots. Even so I'd agree with you. The actors in the movie just look wrong from photos. That's how you know you've picked the wrong people. For example, once I saw that Larisa Oleynik was Dawn, I made a o_O face.
I plan to MST3K/Retsupurae the movie at least (once I can get my computer set up to do so) and I'm clearly going to also have to do it for the TV show to compare the two.
I love Stacey in the TV Series better than the movie! First of all, the writer's got Stacey's sitting charge wrong. It's Charlotte, not Rosie! I prefer the TV Show version of Stacey because she is sweet and more like a thirteen-year-old should be. I like to think that book Stacey had a combo of both nice and sophisticated. I also love her bond with Charlotte in the series. It matches the books perfectly! The movie version just seemed to old for me. I have to say I prefer the TV Series to the movie any time.
I choose movie Claudia and Jessi for an odd reason. Even though she didn't fit Claud well but I appreciated that she looked Asian. TV show Claudia looked like white washing. Same with Jessi. I liked that they did cast a very dark girl to play her instead of the old "We need to add a black person, but let's cast the one with the lightest skin tone!" I wouldn't care so much if this wasn't so common in media.
I dislike movie Jessi cuz she looks about 8 and I just can't get over that, but I do agree the show should have had a darker Jessi considering what a huge deal it was her being black.
Claudia looks Asian to me. I mean she doesn't look Japanese, but the actress who plays her is probably half Asian, she kind of looks Filippino to me. But I agree they should have gone with someone who looks Japanese.
You forgot Karen! TV series!Karen is spot-on in Claudia and the Missing Pla-doh, both in looks and personality... but in the ten-second clip where Karen appears in the movie, she doesn't even have hated glasses. She is a brat, though.
I decided to only do club members, but I promise Karen did cross my mind! ^_^ The TV version is great because you really feel the same desire to smack her like when reading the books. Doesn't she only get like one line in the movie? That's the way it should be but the movie still sucks. Hmmmm...
I got into these books around 1998 (I was 6 at the time) so I didn't see the movie til a lot longer after it came out, but I still remember the first time seeing it and not liking it at all because the characters didn't seem right. The only parts I really truly enjoyed were the Stacey in New York parts because she was the one I thought they got spot on. Mallory was good too but she didn't show up nearly as much as I thought she should've.
I've never seen the show so I can't say too much about it but Avriel Hillman just looks so much like I thought Kristy should it's unreal.
As far as Kristy and Patrick are concerned here, I'd say she handled meeting him in "Babysitters in the USA" a lot better than the casual surprised greeting in the movie. At least in the book, he invited Kristy, Sam and Charlie to the wedding. That book was well needed.
I haven't read this book so I didn't even know that her father came back! I'd love to read about the awkwardness and how Patrick is there.
Speaking of casting, I think they got Patrick pretty spot on. He played the flaky dad pretty well.
Oops!! Well, I won't spoil it for you if you haven't read it yet. And you're right - he was pretty flaky here.