This week I will give you guys my favorite book to movie adaptations (I tried to do five but I couldn’t keep it at five so I ended up with 8) and my least favorite book to movie adaptations. I love watching films and while I have to say that I personally prefer films that were written for film and not adapted from books, there are a few exceptions that I have. I might write up some posts at a later date talking about the movies I enjoy watching and why I enjoy them.
1. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg, the movie is just called Fried Green Tomatoes. This is one of my all time favorite movies ever created ever. I watch this movie whenever I am feeling sad because it always makes me cry and that helps me to feel better. If you haven’t seen it then watch the movie, the book is great as well and told in a really interesting way. It is a great historical fiction about finding out who you are and what you would do to be the person you want to be.
2. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. This movie is directed by Sofia Coppola and while she wouldn’t make my top five list of directors ever I have to say this film is one of my favorites of hers. There are times in the film where she has one of the actors reading passages that come directly from the book and since the writing for this book is both beautiful and interesting it lends itself well. I really enjoyed the adaptation and the changes made to the ending made the movie. (No I don’t think that books need to be made verbatim into movies, its an adaptation and some books wouldn’t be as good in movie form if they weren’t tweaked a little)
3. The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald, and yes I’m talking about the new one. Abstractly when I heard the music for the film I was shocked. How could somebody making a film about the 1920’s use today’s music. Then I heard that the director also directed Moulin Rouge and it started to make sense. The film was aesthetically beautiful and I didn’t even mind that the editing was weird. I was expecting it. I thought that it was a beautiful adaptation and it both intrigued and delighted me. It was definitely weird, but weird in a good way.
4. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger. There are few films that I will tell you are actually better than the source material and this is one of them. This is another of my favorite movies. Mostly because of the phenominal acting as well as the fact that this film has some of the best monologues ever written and performed. I was floored by Stanley Tucci in this film and Meryl Streep was brilliant as always. Great film, and inspirational to someone like me. It reminds us that even the things that we view as insignificant were at one time well thought out and that it takes work to be successful, that our hard work may not always be acknowledged with high praise but it is worthwhile, and that how we present ourselves to others is important.
5. Now this one is going to be weird but Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer, specifically the second movie. I read the Twilight series when it was appropriate for my age, at about thirteen. Looking back after reading hundreds of books since then I can recognize the flaws in them and I don’t understand why they became so popular with women of all ages, I can understand a pubescent girl liking them, but middle aged women, that confuses me. Even back then I recognized that Breaking Dawn was the worst out of all of them. It had the most anticlimactic ending out of all of them and that’s disregarding all the weird traumatic stuff that happened somewhere in the middle. The reason this is on my top five list is that the last movie was actually good. I wish there was a separate movie for each of those tertiary vampires because they all had more interesting back stories and personalities than the main characters. The writers put in a huge battle scene where you got to see people shatter and have heads torn off and thrown into pits. It gave you the climax you needed and a more realistic reason for the big bad vampires to want to leave. It was better. I enjoyed it. Even though I was bummed that my friend was dragging me to go see it.
6. The Princess Bride by William Goldman. The movies has a completely different tone from the book but that’s what makes it wonderful. It is one of the most quotable movies ever made and it is still hilarious years later. I love this movie and find it endearing. It is just one of those classics you have to watch in your lifetime.
7. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkein. The movies do a wonderful job of fixing some of the pacing issues in the books as well as shifting the order of events in a way that makes complete sense. Not to mention that the acting is great and the aesthetics are beautiful. Also, all of the hobbits are great. I can’t wait for the next Hobbit movie to come out because the movies keep on giving what you want them to.
8. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. If you haven’t read this book, read it, (or wait a month and read it when Bibliomancy for Beginners does). It is my all time favorite classic that I had to read for school. It is brilliant. The movie does change a few things, like the protagonist of the novel. But quite honestly that’s what you have to do when the protagonist in the novel tells the story in his mind because he is pretending to be mute. Really that won’t translate well to film so if you switch the main character to McMurphy a boisterous personality portrayed perfectly by Jack Nicholson you make the film really work. It is another classic film that everyone should see.
Now here are two book to movie adaptations that I feel should never have happened. Sometimes I think the movie industry tries to make bank on a popular book just because its popular not thinking about how that book is going to actually come across to the screen.
1. The Host by Stephanie Meyer. I read this book this year in anticipation for the film. It was actually a great book and while I got a lot of flac because “oooh it’s Stephanie Meyer,” I still enjoyed the book. The one problem I had with them taking this book and making it into a movie. The took out the parts I found most interesting (the stories about the other worlds that Wanderer tells) and they made the romances seem all too fast. It is very difficult to show time passing in a movie when you only have so many minutes to work with. Then the fact that like Cuckoo’s Nest most of the story telling is through, in this case dialogues, in someone’s mind. It doesn’t translate well to film. The most fun I had was making fun of the film with Gretchen from My Life is a Notebook.
2. Extremly Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. This is not a book it is an experience. It is humorous and heartbreaking on the same page. It hurts your soul and give you hope all in the same book, and I just did not get the same emotions from the movie. It isn’t a bad movie per say, it just isn’t as good as the book. If you haven’t heard of this, I suggest reading the novel first because it is the best way to get inside this kids head and see what he is feeling.
To wrap things up guys I just wanted to remind you that the Bibliomancy for Beginners book club is meeting tonight at 8:30 EST and we will be discussing The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman. It is sure to be interesting. Tomorrow will come my review as well as the video link if you want to watch it later. Next week we will be discussing one of the books on this list The Virgin Suicides so if you want to get ahead, start reading it and hear us talk about that next time.
I hope you are having a great day and I’ll talk to you tomorrow, for now, the Pied Piper is calling me.