Now a Major Motion Picture?

It’s Sunday night and I’m comfortably moved into my brand new apartment. I’m sipping tea, watching a little TV and noticing how many ads are for books that have been turned into movies. It leads me to blog-like musings..

A reader recently left a comment on my blog about how strange it to read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz after seeing it as such a visually spectacular movie. There are so many classic, classic movies based on books that we never read. Everything from Jurassic Park to Willy Wonka will be forever linked in our collective memories to not only words but specific visuals- some of which may not even be in the book.

I’m not much of a movie buff, but I’ve been dating one for four years, so I am seeing more and more classics. To be honest, I’ve only ever found one movie that I liked better than the book. And when I say it, I know I’ll get some flack. But…

I love the 1993 Disney version of Huck Finn, starring Elijah Wood. I watched it many, many times as a kid. An embarrassing number of times. As in, I can still sing every note of the song that plays during the credits. And that song is orchestral.

I watched it again recently and surprisingly, it holds up. Of course the book is amazing. I think Huck Finn is the great American story, and I know that’s not very original of me. But it does have some strange moments (i.e. most of the end? in my opinion) and the Disney movie well… Disney-fies it. It smooths things out without toning them down. It adds music and a dreamy boy (full disclosure: I used to look exactly like he does in this movie.  Even the haircut. Good on him, bad on me). I feel bad liking the movie better. I do. But even we bookworms do it sometimes, right?

So come on, guys and gals, let’s be honest: what’s your guilty pleasure? What’s the one (or two, or three!) movie you like just a tad better than the book? And also, just curious – what’s the worst adaptation you’ve ever seen?

By the way, I’ve been loving all of your wonderful feedback – keep it coming!

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Published in: on August 1, 2011 at 9:00 am  Comments (13)  

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13 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I remember reading Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer as a child but i don’t think i’ve ever seen the movie but maybe i will try and find a copy and watch it.

  2. Probably Tom and Huck (based off of Tom Sawyer) but then again my favorite actor was Jonathan Taylor Thomas growing up hehe

  3. I enjoyed the movie “P.S. I Love You” much more than the book by Cecelia Ahern. I liked the book…. but love the movie.

    I saw the movie before I read the book, though. It’s almost always the other way around. Do you think that’s why?

    How about you? Did you see Huck Finn before reading the book?

    • I did see the movie first… maybe it tainted my views!

  4. This is an interesting blog topic–one my family has discussed recently too. I like the recent Bridge to Terebithia movie with Anna Sophia Robb as Leslie. Right before this movie came out, my daughters had lost a close friend in an automobile accident. It was a very hard time in our family. To try and help the girls through this, we read Bridge to Terebithia as a family. A few months later the movie came out so we went to see it. My girls felt such hope after the movie was over…hope that though their friend was gone, they could remember the happy times with their friend and work through it together, like Jess and May Belle did. It was very healing!

  5. I cannot think of a book I like *better* than a movie, but I have liked many equally. I am looking forward to the screen adaptation of the “The Help” since it was written before the book was even published.
    By the way, halfway through your book, and loving every second.

  6. I just finished reading your book… awesome! I was an elementary teacher for 25 years, retired and work at a library now and love it. Thank you for a beautiful book and a moving tribute to books and reading. It should be required reading for all school board members ! Steve Betancourt–Mobile ,Al.

  7. “The Help”…the only movie I could even say I loved just as much as the book!!!

  8. I have so many mixed feelings about media, in general, for my own kids. One of my biggest ‘gripes’ is just how… available (? not sure if this is the right word) movies are for young kids. One of my loose rules of thumb is, if they’re not ready to read the book the film is based on, then maybe the ideas are over their heads. (Something like Lord of the Rings! For a 4-year-old!) We have been reading the series of Harry Potter books for quite a long time, out loud, a chapter a day, mostly… but when you think about it, if a child started reading them at age ten or so and read one novel for every year Harry was in school, by the last novel, at 16 or 17, they could really understand (and perhaps parallel?) the way Harry was growing up and feeling, etc. With the magic of video rental, it is possible to rent episodes 1-6 and watch them over a weekend… Wait a second – my comment is completely off-topic!
    I haven’t read your book yet but I am going to ask our town library if they will find it for me.

  9. I can’t say I’ve ever liked a movie adaptation better than the book, but the worst I’ve seen was “Clan of the Cave Bear”. A book with very little dialogue except for hand signals and gestures just does not translate well to the screen.

  10. I’m reading your book right now, and I’m 90% through it – love it!
    I always, always like the book better than the movie…… with the exception of Stephen King’s Pet Semetary. (For the record, I don’t read King anymore….. he weirded me out with Rose Madder.)

    One thing your book has accomplished is making me feel guilty for NOT reading to my children more. They are 15 and 11, so it’s certainly not too late, but that ship has pretty much sailed for the 15 year old. She dislikes reading and is more of a texter at the moment. I’m happy to say that my 11 year old read all the Harry Potter’s in 5th grade, and loved them.

    Thank you for writing a wonderful book.

  11. I liked the movie of the “Iron Giant” better than the book, or at least the ending of it. That’s the only movie that’s been better than the book for me, though!

  12. Forrest Gump. Great film. Terrible book.


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