It's once again time for another of those posts about a movie nobody likes but me. The critics didn't like it when it was released, and it was a box-office flop. I'm probably the Lone Defender.
I should also mention that when I was in high school Silas Marner was required reading. I loved it. I'm the only person I know who's ever said that. I don't know if it's still being taught, but if so, it's probably even more unpopular than ever. So why would anyone, especially Steve Martin, write a screenplay based on it?
I can't answer that, but I can say that the movie does pretty much follow the plot of the George Eliot classic. Martin plays a guy who finds his wife has been unfaithful and moves to the sticks to make artisanal furniture. (Okay, I'm very slow, and this is the first time I've noticed that artisanal says that art is anal. That's true in many cases, I suppose, and it kind of fits Martin's character here.) Martin collects gold coins, and if you've read Silas Marner, you know the rest. Coins stolen, foundling discovered, child changes grumpy man into better person, serious complications ensue. I won't divulge any of the latter, just in case some of you haven't have the pleasure of reading Silas Marner or seeing this movie. Or the displeasure, considering that I'm the Lone Defender.
Since A Simple Twist of Fate is based on a Victorian work, there are plenty of plot contrivances and coincidences -- simple twists of fate. They didn't bother me a bit. The movie's quietly funny most of the way and slapsticky funny at least once. It's warmhearted and it works out the way I'd like for real life to work out, although it does so all too seldom. You probably won't like the movie, but that's okay. My feelings won't be hurt.