Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Warning: Blasphemy Ahead - Movies that are better than the books they came from - There, I said it.

Confession time: I’m having trouble reading the last few days. I can’t make myself dig into anything. I’ve been watching movies.

Have you ever loved a movie then hated the book it spawned from? Normally it’s the other way around but I can think of a few.

Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel is one. I loved the movie. The book was okay but not as good as the movie, for me. I’m not saying don’t read the book. It was a good book. Just the movie was better.

Here’s a scene I loved:
(Warning - watch it with the sound off. The dubbing is horrible and unnecessary as there are subtitles.)

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman was an excellent book. Practical Magic was an excellent movie. For the life of me I never understood how they got the movie from the book. The movie was blessed with a fabulous cast and a sensational soundtrack.

Here’s one of my many favorite scenes:
(On the other hand, jack the sound up on this one!)

The Milagro Beanfield War by John Nichols was a great movie but I could not get into the book. It should have been a book I would love. Again the movie had a great cast.

This is a scene near the end of the movie:

Someone Like You was a good movie. It came from the book Animal Husbandry by Laura Zigman. Not sure why the book didn’t appeal to me.

Here’s the trailer for the movie:

Currently I’m anxiously awaiting the release of a new book: Smoking Seventeen by Janet Evanovich which comes out June 21st. I’ve read excerpts and I already know I’m going to love it.

They’ve made a movie of the first book in the series - One For the Money. I love that book. Looking at the cast and knowing Hollywood, I predict the book will be better than the movie. Hopefully we’ll know January 27, 2012 unless they move the release date back AGAIN.

Are there any movies you like better than the books they came from? Books you’d like to see made into a movie? Television show?

I’m going to leave you with a pic of the only ‘One For the Money’ cast member I’m absolutely sure is the right choice:

Oh yeah! There's Ranger!


  1. Oh I do love me some daniel sunjata!!! i suspect katharine heigl will be horrid and bumbling as plum, though.

    Movies i like better than their books:

    A River Runs Through It (gorgeous, brilliantly cast flick, oppressively sad novella)

    Pride and Prejudice (BBC)--the book is great but I've enjoyed the miniseries way more. Ditto with Thorn Birds which, in the book, focused too much on annoying Jussie, Meggie's daughter.

    Little Women (the winona ryder/christian bale one)..well done and more entertaining than the book imho.

    Gotta say I'm nervous but optimistic about The Hunger Games movie--unless they screw it up with too much focus on special effects i think it will be good.

  2. Two movies that far surpassed the books, in my opinion:

    The Bridges of Madison County
    Message in a Bottle

    Neither book was a literary masterpiece (or particularly well-written, I thought), but the movies were beautifully done!

  3. I thought The Devil Wears Prada movie was a fun one. But to be honest, I couldn't get past the first page of the book. I don't think I'm a prude about swearing, but sometimes it feels like overkill. And then my sister in law told me the movie was better anyway, so I didn't bother trying again.

  4. I have to agree about Practical Magic, but that may be because Alice Hoffman's writing style is a little too flowery for me. Also, I quite enjoyed The Shawshank Redemption (although I liked the story, too). And the Bourne Identity movies were far more exciting than the book; though, really, the only things they had in common were character names and amnesia. Still, I dig the movies. I thought Dave Barry's Big Trouble worked slightly better as a movie than it did on paper, too.

  5. Lora - I think Sunjata is capable of really ‘nailing; Ranger and since I can’t ‘nail’ Ranger…
    Also, I remember that about River Runs Through It now that you mention it.

    Maegregale - I’m convinced there’s something wrong with me because I couldn’t get into Bridges the book or movie, even thought the cast was great.
    I liked the Messages movie better than the book, too. Sparks also wrote the Notebook. I adore that movie. Haven’t tried the book. And the Nights In Rodanthe movie was okay but I haven’t attempted the book. Have you read either of those?

    Susan - yeah that movie was better than the book. How could it miss with that cast? Streep, Tucci, Hathaway & Emily Blunt! I thought the book was okay. I haven’t enjoyed her other stuff, though.

    Delia - I have to disagree with you about the Bourne Identity movies. They were good but I loved those books. I usually don’t read that kind of book and I stumbled upon the first one in an airport bookstore. After that I read them all. Ludlum’s got some writing skillz.
    Normally I love Alice Hoffman & I did love that book. But I kept looking for the movie in there & not finding it. I love that movie.

  6. I agree about Big Trouble--the movie comes off as all comedy action. But the book tries to be grittier, so at one point the mother or someone is almost raped and it really ruins the tone of the book. Blech.

    The Joy Luck Club was slightly better I'd say.

    And my advice to people for The Princess Bride: Watch the movie first because the casting is perfect. And it doesn't ruin the book, because there's an entire humor level to the book that's missing in the movie, so you enjoy it allll over again in an entirely new way!