The Giver may star two hot young actors—Brenton Thwaites and Odeya Rush—but that doesn't mean the movie is only about two hot young people falling in love.
In fact, the author of best-selling and Newbery Medal-winning book says the movie adaptation (in theaters on Friday) is anything but a teen romantic romp.
"There have been over the years many movies that show cute adolescence, they smooch and fall in love and live happily ever after, and that's amusing and charming and I loved it when I was a kid, but I thought this movie could be more than that," Lois Lowry tells me.
Lowry admits she was nervous when she learned that they cast 17-year-old Rush for Fiona and 24-year-old Thwaites to play Jonas, the teenage characters who explore their feelings for each other, because the characters in the book are actually only 11 years old.
"I should have trusted them more because they didn't [turn it into a teen romance]," Lowry said. "There's an element of attraction and affection, but it's very wistful, very tender and very appropriate."
The story takes place in The Community, a place where people's emotions and memories are eradicated in order to prevent feelings that lead to war and other kinds of human suffering.
Katie Holmes, who plays Jonas' mom, said, "I really thought the script was compelling, and then I read the book and I just think it's a movie of value—but it's also very commercial because of two great characters who are falling in love."
But not too much in love.
"We're not even fully feeling together," Rush said. "Jonas is just trying to get Fiona to feel love, but I think it's really sweet and innocent. It's what drives him, but the concept is not taking over the film. It's just one element."
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