Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Walk in the Woods

Yesterday, Marvin and I headed out to Huntsville with good friends, Barry and Sharon, to see the movie, A Walk in the Woods.

Bill Bryson wrote this book in 1998.

Robert Redford liked the book so much that he bought the rights and had plans to make the movie with Paul Newman as his walking buddy, Stephen Katz.  However, Mr Newman passed away before the movie ever got off the ground and Nick Nolte was cast as Stephen. I must say that I think Mr Nolte was the right man for the job.

Sharon and I laughed so much that I think we embarrassed our husbands, who are on the quiet side! First up let me say that the movie is rated R. Language was rather salty and there was some sexual innuendo.  I think most baby boomers would enjoy this movie as much as I did.

Bill Bryson is at the age where all of his friends are dying or being diagnosed with some ailment or other. All he ever talks about with his friends is what meds they are taking! Frankly, it is depressing to him. One afternoon, after arriving home from yet another funeral, Bryson, takes off on a walk. His home is not too far from the Appalachian Trail and as he sees the sign, he gets the desire to hike the 2100 mile trail. He begins calling all his old friends but none will go with him and they think he is just crazy to think of such a thing. One day he gets a call from his old high school buddy, Stephen Katz, who has heard about Bryson's idea from another friend. Bryson and Katz had traveled in Europe together and it was not all together successful! But since Katz is the only one willing to go with him, they set off! Bryson's wife, Catherine( played superbly by Emma Thompson) is not happy about this trek but feels they will be back in a week or two, overwhelmed by the physical demands of the trail.

The scenery was beautiful and as the movie unfolds, you get a  feeling for the bond between these unlikely friends. One has travelled the world, the other is happy at home in Iowa. One has a wife and family, the other is alone. One is a wealthy author, the other lives on the shady side of Des Moines. Each is happy in his own way and the friendship  they shared as teenagers is still there many years later.

I cannot remember the last time I laughed so much at a movie. These two guys are nuts. After I got home from the movie, I had to google the book and now I want to read all of Mr Bryson's books. Most are about of my favorite subjects. I have a feeling A Walk in the Woods will be a bit different from the movie because in the movie the guys are older than Mr Bryson and his friend were when they hiked the trail. Of course after seeing portions of the trail, I realize that it would be hard for anyone who was not in good physical shape. My favorite quote from the movie, Bryson ( Redford) tells Katz( Nolte), Books are like Television for Smart People!!

And speaking of the AT, I am reading the journal of a man who is on the trail right now. His trail name is Butter and you can find him on Butter is a friend of our friend, Barry. On retiring Butter decided to hike the AT. He has been hiking for years with different groups but this is a real challenge for him. He just made it into Massachusetts yesterday. It is rather like a blog. Butter posts a photo along with a description of his day's hike. I hope he makes it to the end!


~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

My husband and I both read that book and really enjoyed it. I can't wait to see the movie! How neat! Sweet hugs, Diane

Arlene said...

I think you will enjoy it Diane!!

Terri D said...

I read the book "Wild" and want to see the movie about that, but this one sounds great. I will definitely try to see "A Walk in the Woods"!! Thanks for the review and information!

Mari said...

Thanks for the review! I hadn't heard of this one, but it sounds good.

Linda said...

I love it when I read a good movie review and I will SO be watching this film just as soon as I can!! Thank you so much for posting about it! I love Robert Redford in anything!

Arlene said...

Terri, I saw Wild after reading the book and frankly, it was disappointing. I think the book was much better. I have not read A Walk in the Woods but I have heard the movie is loosely based on the book. However, I enjoyed this movie very much. Mari...the language was typical of two old high school buddies so I did not feel it was gratuitous. Linda, I think you would get a kick out of this one! Ladies, let me know what you think if you see it. Maybe it was just me but it gave me a good laugh and I needed one!!lol