I now know how to watch Scarlett, the movie of Alexandra Ripley's sequel to GWTW. I'll just think about it as fan-fiction. A very institutionalized form of fan-fiction to be sure, but fan-fiction nonetheless. I won't flinch at every mischaracterization or absurdity this way, I'll just take it for what it is.
Update, 6:50pm: It doesn't help.
Update, 7:02pm: Nothing helps.
Update, 8:03pm: I just watched Rhett Butler introduce Belle Watling and one of her, er, girls, to his mother. This isn't just fan-fiction, this is awful fan-fiction. The kind I stop reading after 3 pages in. I hate to say it, but I wish it stuck closer to the book version. And the book was bad.
Update, 8:18pm: Ew.
Update, 8:21pm: Scarlett: "Pansy, go tell Mr. Rhett that Sleeping Beauty [i.e., Scarlett] is back from the Land of Nod." Quoting the movie to you is, at present, the only coherent way of expressing to you, dear reader, how bad this movie truly is. Still, I trudge on.
Update, 8:31pm: Oh no oh no oh no. I think Ashley is about to kiss Scarlett. While she is in his hotel room. While he is in Charleston. The sad part is that I think this actor, Stephen Collins (interestingly, the dad from 7th Heaven!) could make a fair Ashley if he had something in the way of a reasonable script to work with.
Update, 8:35pm: And then Rhett's mother kicks her out of the house?? Where is this even coming from? They're seriously deviating from the plot of the substandard book.
Update, 9:15pm: I can't decide whether to laugh or cry. I've settled on something in between. This is truly horrific.
Update, 9:32pm: Okay, so, I've decided to continue watching, guided by the idea that it has nothing to do with GWTW. It'll be like watching the most recent Mansfield Park "adaptation," I'll disassociate it from the original and appreciate it on its own merits.
Update, 10:08pm: Scratch that. It has no merits.
Update, 10:29pm: Is Rhett seducing that girl? Ew.
Update, 10:38pm: Scarlett is pregnant and I'm pretty sure she should be showing at this point. Oh well. Why should I expect anything to be logically consistent?
Update, 10:59pm: The news of Rhett's re-marriage brings on the baby early. What an innovative plot twist. Yeah, that's not completely predictable.
Update, 11:01pm: They're tying her arms and legs to the bed while she's having the baby? What? This is too bizarre.
Update, 11:04pm: Homemade c-section. Lovely. Just what I wanted to see after dinner.
Update, 11:07pm: Am I really just halfway through this thing? Dear readers, should I stick it out and finish it tonight?
Update, 11:12pm: Why, despite not only my position that this movie has nothing to do with GWTW but also the fact that Timothy Dalton is spectacularly unsuccessful as Rhett, does it give me real pain to see Rhett happily married to someone other than Scarlett? Why do I want to throw things at him?
Update, 11:15pm: I feel I should confess my somewhat unpopular suspicion that, in "real" life (meaning, GWTW as a standalone novel, and apart from official sequels and fan-fiction), I do not believe that Scarlett and Rhett will get back together. Re-read that last chapter and hear the finality in Rhett's voice. No, perhaps that scene discussed above, with Rhett happily married to a decidedly un-Scarlett-like wife, particularly pains me precisely because I believe it could be "true."
Update, 11:38pm: Of course she falls off her horse. The damsel-in-distress thing can get old, though. *Sigh*
Update, 11:39pm: And, of course, she's taken care of by Rhett's new wife. LOL.
Update, 11:41pm: Why does she have to be all creepy?
Update, 11:45pm: Fox hunting is pretty lame.
Update, 11:46pm: Is her cousin, the priest, in love with her??
Update, 12:13am: This might be the nicest thing I'll say about this movie: the guy they have playing Will Benteen is positively perfect. Exactly as I'd imagined him.
Update, 12:22am: This Ashley could be pretty good as well, if only he weren't working with absolute crap, script- and plot-wise.
Update, 12:33am: Yes, indeed, her cousin the priest is in love with her. LOL.
Update, 1:08am: Why am I happy that Rhett's wife is dying?
Update, 1:15am: Bye-bye, Anne.
Update, 1:26am: Okay, so I've started watching it at double speed, stopping to listen to the dialogue at important-seeming scenes.
Update, 1:32am: A murder mystery? wtf.
Update, 1:36am: Rhett to the rescue! Damsel-in-distress again!
Update, 1:41am: How very Bridget Jones...
Update, 1:52am: The real Rhett would bribe someone. He has connections.
Update, 2:05am: And the real Scarlett wouldn't faint.
Update, 2:18am: So, I stayed up for this, Scarlett and Rhett getting back together, and yet when it happens it feel so... wrong...
Update, 2:21am: And, it's over. I'm going to bed! After watching a little bit of the real GWTW to get these people out of my mind.