The cliche' is that "The book is always better than the movie". But there are some cases where the book is taken out to a back alley, shot in the head and tossed into a dumpster. I offer you - Sebastian Junger's "The Perfect Storm". One of the most informative and heartbreaking accounts of the lives of real people connected by one of the most freakish events since humans began scientifically observing the weather. Informative because not only did Junger go into the meteorology behind that particular storm - he also spent a lot of time going into the meterology of hurricanes in general as well as historical accounts of freak storms, waves and other occurrences at sea that have defied explanation. Plus he dug into the backgrounds of the characters - fishermen, USAF Pararescue Jumpers, etc. Since there was little room in the telling of the story for character development, Junger used history. He also managed to cover the stories of more people who were at sea during the storm. Heartbreaking because in as short a time as he had to develop his characters, Junger made you care about them. Particularly the PJs and the crew of the Andrea Gail. Junger didn't rely on the fact these were real people to guilt the reader into caring about them. And then there's the film. Some bumpkins get on a boat, infight for an hour, then get greedy and drown. But before that they go to a stereotypical bar filled a bunch of hack actors trying to look like Gloucestermen (including a 'salty old sailor man' so stereotypical all he was missing was a parrot and the word 'Ar!') and dance to a Rod Stewart song to prove that they're Blue Collar Folk. Meanwhile, Karen Allen, in an Oscar-worthy scene opposite a VHF radio transmitter, shouts "MAYDAY!" for 5 minutes straight in a way never before seen in the movies. And since the audience in the theater can't get seasick by looking at the ocean on the screen, Petersen manages to nauseate them anyway by endlessly pushing Diane Lane back onto the screen so she can show you how bad her accent is whenever she cries out for "Babby!" And lastly, it was nice to see Mary Elizabeth Masterantonio's acting talent used in such great ways as barking "You're heading into the mouth of the MONSTER!" into the radio, or Marky Mark's bobber scene that wrapped up the film.