Plenty of my favourite books have been made into films. I can’t say that I’ve always really enjoyed the adaptations tho, but there are some that I’ve loved.
Books That Became Films That I Enjoyed:
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. This is such an odd premise for a book but the film version really brought the book to life for me. The casting, the location, the dreamy, ethereal way in which it’s shot. Thumbs up.
Harry Potterby JK Rowling. You’ve already sniggered at me for being such a massive Harry Potter geek but I still don’t care and I still think they’re ace. My only complaint with these films is that they sometimes truncate the stories to fit. I understand why, but I still don’t like it so I was glad when they decided to split book seven over two films instead of trying to cram it all into one. To say I am excited about the final installment this summer is a massive, massive understatement.
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane. I read the book before I watched the film so I knew the twist at the end was coming. It was interesting to watch the film knowing the ending tho, it gave it a whole new dimension of guessing. I’m notoriously bad at working out twists – I’m not sure I would have got this (I certainly didn’t when I read the book) but I kind of like it that way.
The Witches by Roald Dahl – actually, most of Roald Dahl’s books have been made into films and I love them all. I remember watching the film on a ferry on the way to France when I was probably 7 or 8 and being absolutely terrified. Those witches were disgusting!
Bringing Down The House by Ben Mezrich that later became “21”. The plot in the book actually differs slightly to the film, but I liked them both. I have a bit of a soft spot for Kevin Spacey so that might have helped a little bit.
Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs. This quirky little film is one of my favourites. It’s weird, don’t get me wrong, but it’s good and definitely worth a watch.
Books That Should Have Stayed As Books:
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis De Berniere. Nicholas Cage is on my list for this atrocity. Why do they mess with time lines of books? Why?
The Lovely Bones by Alice Seobold. My favourite parts of this book are Susie’s heaven scenes so when Peter Jackson decided to rework that into some seventies trippy nightmare he totally lost my vote. That and the fact that her mother’s character became weak and insipid made me hate this film so much I wanted my money back.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol. I’ll confess that I didn’t actually see the Tim Burton version of the film but since the only film I like of his is Big Fish it’s unlikely I’d enjoy this. The trailer was enough to put me right off.
Obviously bloody Atonement by Ian McEwan has to be in this list. Terrible book, terrible film.
I try not to watch films of the books I really love, now. I think in my heart I’m always a book girl and if I read it first the film always has the power to disappoint. I can never understand why film makers take beautiful, well loved books and change them completely for the film edit. They’re well loved for a reason, guys. How about you just leave them alone?