Thursday, November 29, 2012

Why Do Bad Movies Happen to Good Books?

 Ah, the book/movie conundrum. I am always surprised to see how many movies were based on books. Maybe half. It’s generally not a big deal unless the adaptation comes from a beloved New York Times bestseller with a rabid fanbase. There has been, on occasion, a fantastic film adaption of a fantastic book. Movies like this make you love the book more. But I think that may be the exception to the rule. When it comes to super popular books being made intomovies, expectations are usually crushed on opening night. I’ve recently experienced two novel/film adaptions, one was terrible (Breaking Dawn 2) and one was amazing (The Princess Bride - the book made me love the movie more and the movie is what led me to the book, good stuff all around). So I wanted to make a list of my impressions. I think a good movie adaptation captures the essence of the book, the mood, the vision of it. A great adaptation adds something to the story - with the score, the actors, and beautiful cinematography, movies have that potential. 
Please know that I have read all the books and watched all the movies listed below. I didn't think it would be fair to say, "Hey THE HELP is a really great movie so I'll put that in the good list, even though I've never read the book."

Bad movie adaptations

Twilight Saga
The Count of Monte Cristo (My favorite book - the movie was just insulting)
The Lightning Thief
The Cat in the Hat
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Da Vinci Code
Dear John (the book’s ending is much more poignant)
The Scarlet Letter
Any movie based on a Roald Dahl book (okay, so they aren't the worst but none of them come close to capturing the charm of the original works)

 Good movie adaptations

Harry Potter
Lord of the Rings Trilogy
The Notebook (the movie’s ending is much more romantic, but kind of renders the book sequel moot)

The Hunger Games (this one upset me somewhat, but overall was decent so I'll put it in the good list)
Mean Girls
Where the Wild Things Are
The Outsiders

Do you have any to add? Do you disagree with me? 


Julie Groff said...

For Cat in the Hat are you talking about the cartoon one that plays on TV each year that just reads the story? I like that one. Or maybe there as some Mike Meyers one....that's probably what you are talking about. I never saw that one, wasn't interested.

I liked Da Vinci Code. I Hated Hunger Games, but I didn't read the book. However, most people said that I had to read the book which made me think that the movie must not have been as fantastic as the book was.

Alicia said...

I liked the Da Vinci Code book better than the movie but it was the movie that led me to the book. I think the book is always better than the movie. I didn't like the Hunger Games movie and I watched it very shortly after reading the series. But, I didn't really like the books either, to tell the truth. Love the Harry Potter movies but again, they can't even touch the books. Twilight Saga movies would be better with a different cast I think. I'm not sure if others think that way.

Hays Family said...

"The Help" was a great read and I thought the movie did it justice. Enjoyed both.


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