"Water for Elephants," the movie adapted from the popular novel by Sara Gruen, is this week's featured adaptation. The book, about a romantic triangle in a squalid, Depression-era circus, was a big hit with book clubs, guaranteeing a ready-made audience. For the Twilight crowd, there's even a starring role by Robert Pattinson; his co-stars are Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz. Here are some movie reviews:
-- Los Angeles Times: The romance of the carnival is strong in this film, and it's not too much to say that it's the element viewers will come away remembering most.
-- New York Times: With her caring trainer, Jacob Jankowski (Robert Pattinson), a veterinary student who drops out of Cornell after his parents' sudden deaths, Rosie [the elephant] shares a quasi-mystical understanding of good and evil. That intuitive rapport — the soul of the novel — is barely felt in this cool, placid film, which so studiously tries to cram all of the book's incidents and characters into two hours that it forgets it is telling a story.
-- Roger Ebert: In an age of prefabricated special effects and obviously phony spectacle, it's sort of old-fashioned (and a pleasure) to see a movie made of real people and plausible sets.
-- Rolling Stone: Even nonreaders of the book can figure out what happens next. It's all in the telling. Gruen provided grit and pungent detail. The movie settles for gloss.