Although it’s a faithful adaptation, fans of the book will be in for a few surprises, especially with the final twist.
Anyone who’s read Sarah Alderson’s “The Weekend Away” still has surprises in store for them when the Netflix adaptation hits the shelves this week.
Adapted from Alderson’s book of the same name, the film stars Leighton Meester as Beth, a mother who joins her best friend in Croatia for a weekend vacation – her first since welcoming her first child with her husband. The trip turns to hell, however, when her friend eventually dies and Beth becomes the prime suspect in her murder.
With the author on board as the film’s writer and executive producer, the film is a fairly faithful adaptation…until the final moments at least. We’ll dive into spoilers near the end of this post, but, for starters, Alderson told TooFab that she’s more than comfortable making some tweaks to her own material to bring the project to the small screen.
“I wrote the book, in my mind it was a movie while I was writing the book, which actually made it very easy to adapt. Because I had already planned it in my head like that “, she said. “So most of the book ended up in the script, obviously massively condensed down to 90 minutes, which is always a challenge. You’re trying to get all these character arcs and meaningful character moments, as well as the rhythm and the excitement and the suspense also in the 89 minutes is a challenge.”
“As for taking notes, I’m actually quite used to it because I work in television and it’s an extremely collaborative medium,” she added. “You learn very early on that you can’t be precious, you have to kill your darlings, you have to work with actors, directors, to excess and that’s not necessarily your job. In feature films, the director has a point of view, the actors I want to do certain things and you have to adapt and be flexible Luckily I was already used to it, so it wasn’t that difficult.
As for casting the lead role, Alderson is thrilled to have the ‘Gossip Girl’ and ‘How I Met Your Father’ star on board as Beth — especially since Meester could really relate to her character, having recently welcomed her second child. se.
“She’s so perfect. Everyone loves her, she’s an amazing actress,” Alderson said. “She really embodied the role, she’s perfect. She had just had a child herself, so I think she understood very well where Beth was coming from in terms of the exhaustion of the new motherhood, it is sure. That sense of loss of identity and she just really brought a lot of what was going on for her into the role. She was just perfect. She’s just so engaging as an actress.”
This is where we have to dive into spoiler territory, so if you haven’t watched the movie yet, stop reading now!
Although most of the film proceeds almost at the pace of the book, there is a drastic change at the end.
In both versions, Beth returns home from her trip believing a Croatian cop was to blame for the murder of her friend, only to discover the killer was actually her husband – whom she had previously discovered had had a secret affair with her best friend, leading to their divorce.
In the book, she finds out her ex-husband is the killer when footage of the murder resurfaces after dropping off their child with her husband – and it ends on a cliffhanger with him taking off with their child. In the film, however, she realizes he is the killer after finding a piece of jewelry her friend was wearing the night she died in her possession – and her confession is heard by the police after she calls them in. secret, which led to his arrest.
“The book ends on a cliffhanger and I knew as soon as I was going to do it for a movie, it wouldn’t be very fair, either to the audience or to Beth, the main character,” Alderson explained. “I wanted to finish her arc, I didn’t want to leave her on that cliffhanger where you didn’t know what happened to her next. I wanted to give her that sense of closure that she doesn’t quite get in the book. “
If “The Weekend Away” does well on Netflix, chances are other Alderson books could be adapted into movies or TV shows — and she already has a few in mind.
“I actually have a book coming out this summer called ‘The Cabin In the Woods,’ it’s another tense, gripping thriller that I really want to adapt for television,” she said. told TooFab. “And then hopefully two more of them will turn into movies as well.”