After reading the famous book “Looking for Alibrandi”, every reader decides to get into the screen story and analyze it, compare it to the book in order to find differences and similarities.
Let’s start with the similarities
The biggest similarity for every reader will be the way the author of the book and the movie director have portrayed Josephine Alibrandi. In both the movie and the book Josephine was stubborn and compassionate. It is important to mention that an actress Pia Miranda, who played Josephine Alibrandi in the movie, did a fantastic job! Her screen chemistry with John and Jacob was just exactly they did it on the book pages – a strong teen romance and forever-lasting friendship between two people was perfectly shown by means of the motion picture.
One more similarity – the same events portrayed in the book. For example, the director has perfectly shown “National Wog Day” or tomato day. These events were simply alike the ones described within the book. The legendary tomato day showed the close link between Josephine Alibrandi’s family once they were getting together in order to celebrate so Italian day.
Full lines of the characters were successfully transferred to the big screen, which is the other similarity between the movie and the book. Perhaps, one of the reasons why the film is so similar to the book is that the author of “Looking for Alibrandi” was an actual script writer too!
Now it’s time to proceed to the differences between the book and the movie
Comparing to the book plot, the movie “Looking for Alibrandi” shows up some events earlier or later than they are mentioned in the book. Moreover, some scenes were absolutely cut out. For instance, if you read the book, you will find out that in the movie the death of John Barton was shown quite earlier than it was described on the book pages.
One more interesting example of the differences between the book and the movie is that within the book pages Ivy Lloyd was called Posion Ivy for the reason that it had some relation to her name. Nonetheless, in the movie they changed her name to Carly, which was a real confusion! The whole reason she was called Poison Ivy was because her name was Ivy, so the movie fans didn’t realize why they named her Carly.
To add more to the differences section, it is important to mention that they have totally cut out one of Josephine’s best friends – Lee. Thus, Josephine hangs out only with Anna and Sera.
The final difference was that in the book Jacob made a decision to break up with Josephine, being assured that he was under a heavy pressure once he was near her. For this reason, Josephine was totally devastated and sad. Nonetheless, in the motion picture Jacob tells Josephine he wants to always be by her side right at the end of the film and they all start dancing having Tomato day. Why? No one knows.
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In the beginning of the novel, Josephine’s attitude towards Nonna was very atrocious. Despite the fact that she disliked Nonna, she still has to come to her house every afternoon after school. One of the reasons that she disliked coming to Nonna’s house was that she despised the idea of being force-fed every afternoon of her life (Quote: “I was force-fed when I arrived. Force-fed like every afternoon of my life” page 34). Josie found Nonna very irritating. Every afternoon Nonna kept mentioning about how untidy Josie is and just to return back the favor Josie would say “It’s the fashion” (page 34) just because that annoyed Nonna so much.
However, as time past, Josie found Nonna’s secret. That is the relationship that Nonna had with Marcus Sandford went further than Josie had been told. Although Josie was suspicious and asked Nonna whether she was in love in with him, Nonna wouldn’t acknowledge it (Quote: “Were you in love with him?” Josie asked. “Don’t be silly, Jozzie. I was married.” page 199). At last Josie discovered the truth. In close proximity to the end of the novel Josie realizes that there was much more than love between Nonna and Marcus. She realizes that Nonna had slept with him. After finding such a shocking truth, she was unquestionably furious at Nonna for treating her mother the way she did and all the time she had done worse (Quote: “You had the hide seventeen years ago to treat Mama the way you did when all the time you had done worse.” page 217).
At the end of the novel, Josephine began to understand Nonna’s feelings towards Marcus. Nonna had said that Francesco treated her like one of his farm animals (Quote: “Your grandfather Francesco treated me like one of his farms animals”. page 222). She had learnt to be more accepting and tolerant towards Nonna although Nonna had made a wrong decision according to the Italian community’s perspective. Nevertheless, Josie had changed and had begun to not care what other people think about her, her family and her illegitimacy. From then on, her perspective and attitude towards Nonna changed dramatically although she understood the challenges that Nonna had to go through living with Francesco. By understanding Nonna now, she hopes that one day her granddaughter can try to understand her (Quote: “And so that one day, my granddaughter can try to understand me, like I’m trying to understand Nonna.” page 202).
Furthermore, Michael Andretti’s arrival to Sydney surprised Josie immensely. Initially, Josie thought that it was no big deal and that they could handle him (Quote: “But, we can handle it, Ma, there’s no big deal.” page 16). At their first meeting, Michael asked whether Josie is Christina’s daughter. It wasn’t a pleasant meeting. Josie was very rude towards Michael. She wanted to make Michael feel bad. She did that by saying “My mother had me young” (page 39). After that statement, Michael’s face went pale and he looked at her at absolute shock. Their second meeting wasn’t any better, if anything it was worse. Josie’s insolence and hatred towards Michael was shown in the conversation that they had at the barbeque. She said that she doesn’t want anything to do with him (Quote: “How dare you think that I want to be in your life!” page 69). Therefore, they made an agreement that they should stay out of each other’s lives (Quote: “A promise. You keep out of my life, I keep out of yours.” page 69).
Nonetheless, they broke the promise or more appropriately, Josie broke the promise. In the middle of the novel, one significant incident happened at school. Josie found herself sitting in the principal’s office for hitting Carly Bishop with a textbook. Carly’s father is taking this matter to court, therefore Josie was forced to call Michael Andretti to come to school and help her to solve this problem. Miraculously, he came and he sorted out the problem. This proves that Michael has some sort of interest in Josie and her life. She felt proud walking past her classmates with a father (Quote: “I walked past my classmates with Michael Andretti beside me and for a few minutes I knew how it felt walking alongside one’s father. It was a great feeling.” page 90).
Subsequently, their relationship started building up. For example, when Josie met Michael on the road after her “ten minute” date, he said that he was going to visit her to go out for a pizza (Quote: “I had decided to come and visit you. I thought you’d like to go out for a pizza or something.” page 125). At that time, he offered her an afternoon job as a photocopier and helping the secretaries and Josie agreed. From then on, she started to comprehend Michael’s characteristics and personality. She knew that he would have come back if only he knew that Christina had gone through with the pregnancy (Quote: “You would have come back. I know you would have.” page 129). The same goes with Michael, he wanted to know more about Josie. He wanted to be a part of her life (Quote: “I’m not sure if I can love you ever, but I want to know you. I want to be part of your life.” page 128). At the end of the novel, Michael had decided not to go back to Adelaide, instead he bought a house in Balmain (Quote: “I’m not going back. I’ve bought a house in Balmain.” page 244). This showed that he wants to be a part of Josie’s life and wanted to know her better.