October 29, 2014

October 29, 2014

A Real Frame-Turner

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that the book was better than the movie.

Sure, there are exceptions. Sometimes you see the movie first and are so impressed that you read the book afterwards, skewing your perception in favor of the film that drew you in to the tale. (For me, Jack Reacher. I was so impressed by the movie—yes, I was that ONE PERSON—that I immediately read the entire series and went to see Lee Child in person.)

Generally, though, I think those of us who enjoy book literature and film can agree that the book medium allows for presentation of greater detail, especially through inner dialogue. (When I heard that The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was being adapted into a play, I needed someone to slap in the face.)

However, since films these days are essentially a license to print money, odds are good that any notable book will end up Coming To A Screen Near You. A shame, since some books are so beloved that nothing—no combination of director, cast, special effects, and/or Tom Cruise—will live up to the version in your mind.

Friend-of-blog M recently asked me if I’d seen Gone Girl, for instance, and I’m really reluctant to see the movie version of my 2012 book of the year. Not because I have anything against Rosamund Pike or Ben Affleck (she was in Jack Reacher!). Rather, I’ve read that author/screenwriter Gillian Flynn make some changes during the adaption process, and that worries me. I barely tolerated the absence of Tom Bombadil in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings, guys.

Other films I’m afraid haven’t done/won’t do the book justice: The Giver, The Maze Runner, Chaos Walking, and The Fault in Our Stars. All YA books, and mostly YA Sci-Fi, which shows both what I like to read and what gets adapted into movies these days.

Have you ever gone into a film adaptation hopeful and come out disappointed? Or the other way around?

1 Fish in a Sea of Diet Coke:

I absolutely second your horror at the whole The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Play thing.

But, I actually was thrilled Tom Bombadil was left out of LOTR. Leaving out the bit where Faramir and Eowyn helped heal each other and then fell in love.

I can't help it. I'm a hopeless romantic.