From the Page to the Silver Screen

Okay, there seems to be a number of movies being made from YA books this year, a fact I am pretty excited about. I've seen some posts on Facebook and twitter, where people are wondering if they can actually go see the movie of a book they really liked, because, and I quote, "It doesn't follow the story that well."

I won't lie, I too have fallen trap to this way of thinking. This idea that a movie absolutely must follow the book exactly. I've actually come out of movies-made-from-books disappointed. The prime example -- and when I learned that my way of thinking about movies-made-from-books was flawed -- was Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

I was so excited to go. I loved all the Harry Potter books. I was pretty mad after that movie, and it wasn't for the reason you might think. See, they got the snake all wrong. ALL WRONG. That was not how I envisioned the snake!

And I was mad, and I let that ruin the movie for me. It was then that I realized that books are not movies, and movies are not books, and each has it's own separate entertainment value. Since then, I have enjoyed every movie-made-from-a-book I've seen.

What? How? Why?

I just don't care if they match. They don't have to line up! That's the beauty of creating the same idea in two different mediums.

Here is a short list of films coming out this year that I just can't wait to see. The real reason? I loved the books for their entertainment value, and I want to experience them again in a different format. That's the real joy of movies-made-from-books. We get to experience our favorite characters, settings, and stories in an entirely new light.
  • Vampire Academy -- February 7
  • Divergent -- March 21
  • The Fault in our Stars -- June 6
  • The Giver -- August 15 (oh my heck, I LOVED this book! I can't wait to see this movie!)
  • The Maze Runner -- September 19
  • Gone Girl -- October 3
  • The Hunger Games, Mockingjay, part 1 -- November 21 (I did not realize they were doing this third book in two parts. I guess we'll see how it goes!)

So don't wonder if you should go to a particular movie because you think it won't align with the book. Accept that it won't, and go experience the story again through a new lens.

What do you think? Do you enjoy movies-made-from-books even if they're a bit "off" from the written story? Why or why not?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I struggled with this mentality for years, but now I'm a bit more relaxed about it. In arguments about it (because I so often end up in arguments about books vs movies), I usually bring up Stardust. The film and the book are completely different, yet I think they're equally good. The book wouldn't work on screen if they'd been totally faithful to it, even though it's a wonderful book.

At the same time, I couldn't enjoy the film of Beautiful Creatures at all, because it deviated from the plot of the book so spectacularly and unexpectedly. I think it needs to be clear beforehand how faithful to the text filmmakers are going to be, so that you can go in prepared. It's when something goes crazy halfway through that I get upset. If I know they're just using the book as a starting point, I can appreciate and enjoy the result.