I’ve seen my fair share of book to movie adaptations. They fall in a few different categories:
- There are the books that I’ve loved and I seek out the movie version as an extension of my adoration for the book
- There are the books that I’ve loved and I watch the movie, cringing and sure that they are going to absolutely mess it up
- There are the movies that I had no idea were based on a book until afterwards and sometimes it inspired me to track down the book
I am one of those people who almost never likes the movies as much as the book — too much left out, the characters now how I pictured them, new scenes/events/endings that don’t make sense. I had to laugh when I saw a list of books where the “book was better than the movie” and it had nearly 1,400 books on it.
There are definitely some movies that I feel like absolutely captured the magic of the book. Even when things are different from the book, I can accept them if I feel that the screenwriter and director truly understood the book, the characters and the spirit of the story. Two that pop to mind are the first of the Harry Potter movies and the Gene Wilder version of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” (The movie version was titled “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”) I honestly can’t read “Charlie” anymore without picturing Gene Wilder.
There are others that I find myself irrationally angry about. The two Percy Jackson movies fall in this bucket. My son is obsessed with Rick Riordan’s books and I’ve read and loved many of them along the way. We’ve gone to see him speak three or four times. We didn’t like the first movie, “The Lightning Thief,” very much, but when “Sea of Monsters” came out, we decided to go. We sat watching the movie and I noticed my son, who was 8-1/2 at the time, looking increasingly grumpy. We walked out of the movie theater and he actually burst into tears. “They ruined his book!” Agreed.
So tell me, what are your FAVORITE book to movie adaptations and which are the ones that need a do-over?