I think I'm in a bit of an odd position
on this one as I really enjoyed both the book
and movie. The movie
seems to be pretty much hated, even by people who loved the book. While there were a few differences between the book and film, I really thought they did a great job of bringing a difficult
book to the screen.
The story revolves around Dwayne Hoover, a car salesman in a small midwestern town, who is a bit of a celebrity. His wife is a bit out of it, wrapped up in the television and her own fantasy world. His son is a lounge singer. Dwayne is searching for meaning in his life, having a bit of a nervous breakdown. He get's the idea that Kilgore Trout, an author coming to the Midland Arts Festival, can explain everything to him.
Trout, Vonnegut's alter ego in many books, is a science fiction author whose works are mainly published in adult magazines because they are the only place that will publish his stories. He get's invited to the arts festival as the guest of honor by Elliot Rosewater, a local town benefactor, who is a great fan of his works. Trout decides to go in order to show the world what a washed up hack he is.
Dwayne get's the idea that he is the only person with free will and that he exists just so the creator of the universe can view his reactions, as this is the theme of one of Trouts stories. It really becomes a look at an author interacting with his creations towards the end of the book, where things get a bit strange.
Overall, I think both the book and the movie were excellent. The acting in the move has been called fake, however the whole point of the movie is to view a story from the point of view of an author interacting with his characters, so it is intended to be off the wall. Vonnegut also satires many aspects of popular culture, and if you understand that, you will see that the actors did an amazing job. The story is bizzare, but very enjoyable. I highly recommend reading the book and seeing the movie, just keep an open mind.
Until you die, it's all life