Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

"On the Road": Kerouac Would Be Meh 

Wednesday, Mar 20 2013

Director Walter Salles' adaptation of Jack Kerouac's On the Road has ruffled feathers from the moment it was announced, both for daring to film the venerated novel and for casting Twilight's Kristen Stewart. But this movie version of On the Road does exist, following the adventures of Sal Paradise (Sam Riley) and Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund, last seen being not quite right in Tron: Legacy) as they bounce around North America in the late 1940s. While the movie is largely faithful to the structure of the book, and shows things an earlier adaptation probably couldn't have, it also hedges its bets by cleaning up the dialogue — after all, protagonists can't use words like "colored" or "Negro" or "fag" in a 2013 movie, even if they're in the source material and not using them is anachronistic. The only real pleasure of the meandering On the Road is the bevy of cameos, though Viggo Mortensen's version of William S. Burroughs is far less entertaining than his recent take on Sigmund Freud in David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method, nor does he touch Peter Weller's portrayal of Burroughs in Cronenberg's Naked Lunch. Now, that's how you adapt a Beat novel.

About The Author

Sherilyn Connelly


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"