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A Prayer for Owen Meany

The book A Prayer for Owen Meany was made into the movie Simon Birch.

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Book details for A Prayer for Owen Meany

A Prayer for Owen Meany was written by John Irving. The book was published in 1989 by Ballantine. More information on the book is available on Amazon.com.

John Irving also wrote The World According to Garp (1978), Hotel New Hampshire (1981), The Cider House Rules (1985) and Widow For One Year (1998).

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Movie details for Simon Birch

The movie was released in 1998 and directed by Mark Steven Johnson, who also directed Elektra (2005). Simon Birch was produced by Walt Disney Video. More information on the movie is available on Amazon.com and also IMDb.

Actors on this movie include Ian Michael Smith, Joseph Mazzello, Ashley Judd, Oliver Platt, David Strathairn, Dana Ivey, Beatrice Winde, Jan Hooks, Cecilley Carroll, Sumela Kay, Sam Morton, Jim Carrey, John Mazzello, Holly Dennison, Peter MacNeill, Addison Bell, Roger McKeen, Sean McCann, John Robinson and Guy Sanvido.

 

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This screen adaptation of John Irving's novel A Prayer for Owen Meany was appreciated much more by audiences than by the majority of disapproving critics. Irving's books have fared only moderately well on film, and while The World According to Garp garn... Read More
This screen adaptation of John Irving's novel A Prayer for Owen Meany was appreciated much more by audiences than by the majority of disapproving critics. Irving's books have fared only moderately well on film, and while The World According to Garp garnered critical praise, The Hotel New Hampshire was waiting in the wings to counteract the fanfare. Simon Birch is one of those nostalgic movies--determined to view the past in rose-colored hues--despite the fact that its protagonist, a dwarf named Simon Birch, is wholeheartedly unsympathetic. The film opens weepily, with Jim Carrey as the adult version of the film's main character and narrator, Joe Wenteworth (played as a youth by the serious young actor Joseph Mazzello). He's mourning at the grave of his best childhood friend, Simon Birch, with whom he had bonded instantly because both were misfits--one a dwarf, the other illegitimate. The deck is stacked from the beginning, especially when the camera dwells on Joe's luscious mom, Rebecca (Ashley Judd), who refuses to reveal the identity of Joe's father, which in turn urges Simon and Joe to embark on a quest to discover Joe's paternity. In a plot point that resembles The Scarlet Letter, the tide of fate turns on the "immoral" mom just as she's on the verge of finding true love with a decent fellow (played by Oliver Platt). Simon Birch ultimately descends into crudeness, though it asks the audience to continue to engage with its crass lead character. By the end, the film is reduced to drivel, cliché, and melodrama to tug our heartstrings into submission. All the things that should have been the film's focus--guilt, self-loathing, and redemption--remain elusive. --Paula Nechak