Monday, June 27, 2011

Books vs. Movies

By Melissa Amster

I am a member of Seeded Buzz and have decided to participate in a seed, as it pertains to this blog. Dorian presented the seed: “When books are better than the movies.”

This topic could be looked at in two different ways. The first is that books are always better than movies! :) I’m a bookaholic and a movie buff, so it’s strange for me to choose one over the other. However, movies lay everything visual out for you and you don’t have to think as hard. Books, on the other hand, present a world of imagination. There’s the story and then there’s your idea of how the story is playing itself out. You can cast whomever you want as the characters. You can picture them to be wherever you want them to be located (based on a few hints from the author). Everything is left up to where your mind wants to take you.
Books can be taken anywhere. Movies can’t unless you have some fancy device where you can watch them and not disturb anyone else. Books may be pricey, but it’s a one person fee and you can share them amongst your family and friends. Movies are an expensive way to spend an afternoon or evening these days, unless you’re willing to wait for the DVD. Then you don’t have the whole theater experience anymore. Books open up a world while movies show you the world the way the creative forces think it should be. I could go on and on about this side of the topic, but I’m sure you could also come up with ways that books are better than movies.

The other way I saw it was that most of the chick lit novels I’ve seen on the big screen (or on DVD) have not had the prowess that the books originally contained. I’ll share my thoughts on a few popular chick lit novels that have become movies in the past few years.
* “The Nanny Diaries”: I read the book many years ago, but I remembered a lot about it. I felt that the movie captured the general feel of the book and did a good job adapting it. I thought it was cute and entertaining overall, but I’m sure it left some parts out.
* “In Her Shoes”: I loved the book and thought the movie was decent, but it left out a huge chunk that happened to be my favorite part of the story. I also didn’t picture Cameron Diaz as Maggie. She did an okay job, but I thought someone better could have been chosen for that role. Toni Collette, however, was perfect as Rose.
* “The Devil Wears Prada”: Other than Meryl Streep playing Miranda Priestly to perfection, this movie was lacking what the book originally made me feel. I was getting annoyed with it and felt like I had to justify to my husband that it really was a good story and just didn’t translate well to the big screen.
* Confessions of a Shopaholic”: I thought it was cute, but it left out some parts from what I remember. I didn’t like that they Americanized the story. It was meant to take place in London and they should have played it as British. Isla Fisher did a good job as Becky. She was very spunky and fun to watch.
* “Something Borrowed”: I enjoyed watching this one, even though they changed a lot of things around. They made it more about Ethan (John Krasinski’s role) than the book ever did. Ginnifer Goodwin was amazing as Rachel and she and Colin Egglesfield (Dex) had fantastic chemistry. Kate Hudson was even believable as Darcy. There were a lot of funny moments as well as emotional ones. I can’t wait to see how “Something Blue” adapts to the big screen!

And of course I couldn't leave this one out....
* “Bridget Jones’s Diary”: A really good adaptation of the book. I think it’s one of the few stories where I almost liked the movie better. I don’t know that I would have picked Renee Zellweger to play Bridget. Why not get someone authentically British. Colin Firth and Hugh Grant were great though. And the secondary characters were also authentically British and added that flair to the movie, as well.

There is only one movie I liked better than the book...."Where the Heart is" (Billie Letts). It's not really a chick lit novel, but it is definitely a chick flick. The book was great, but the movie is even better. I like the changes the movie made to the story and I love all the actors and actresses in it. It's just a perfect movie, in my opinion, and definitely one of my favorites.

Do you like any movie versions of books?


Rebecca said...

I actually just finished reading Legally Blonde yesterday (lovelovelove the movie!) and the book bleeew compared to the film. Not exactly sure which came first either. I have read other stuff form this same author and she is totally blah.

Jeryl M. said...

I hate when you picture a book a cetain way in your head and the movie is just completely different in a bad way.

faithspage said...

Eat, Pray, Love, the book was 100 times better than the movie!!

Kiss The Girls, James Patterson (i know not chick lit) book 100 times better than the movie.

Krystal Lynn said...

I love The Devil Wears Prada movie! The book...ehh, not as much. I'm going to read The Hobbit soon and I hear they're making the movie so I'm excited about that. I know it's not chick lit but still!