Books to Movie

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but how about a book to movie?  How can we judge that?

I am kind of on the fence about book to movie adaptations.  I think it is very rare for a movie to capture what makes the book a best seller.  Over the years there are very few books to movie adaptations that I run out to watch. Often the screen plays for the movie are not written by the author of the books creating some disconnect.  I think creating the setting of the book is easily replicated and often the movies seem to get this correct.   The greatest disconnect is with the characters.  

Think back to a book to movie (BtM) that you were really looking forward to but in the end the movie fell super short.  What is it about that movie that you disliked so much?  For me it is the characters that don’t live up to the book.  A few things can happen that create this shortfall with the characters. The actors don’t bring out the persona of the characters that you fell in love with.  Sometimes lack of chemistry between the characters is the problem.  It could be that the screen writer doesn’t write the conditions the same as it is in the book.  If the movie doesn’t create the same emotional response as the book it will make the experience of the movie less. 

I don’t think all BtM are a failure.  Some have gotten right.  Hunger Games series was closely in line with the book.  Suzanne Collins did help write the screen play.  I honestly feel that this was instrumental in helping to make the movie adaptation successful.  The chemistry came across screen, character interactions played out well. You very much understood who the antagonist was and who the villain was. The latest Pride and Prejudice 2005 movie adaptation starting Keira Knightly and Matthew MacFayden. (Against popular opinion I honestly think that Matthew MacFayden might be the best Mr. Darcy.) Honestly, I think this was the best interpretation of the work.  I know the miniseries is more people’s favorites, but I felt like the other characters did not play well on screen.  While Colin Firth was a good Mr Darcy he and Jennifer Ehl lacked on screen chemistry.   Jennifer played the role to stiffly and did not express enough emotion.  Also, the sisters were not as dynamic in the miniseries versus the movie.   Lydia and Jane were much better portrayed in 2005 over 1995 miniseries.  You felt Jane’s shyness and how it led to her choices and Lydia’s immaturity.  The Fault in your Stars was well done.  It was emotionally powerful but did not meet the book completely.  My biggest complaint there was the casting.  Especially since Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort were cast as brother in sister in a concurrently running series. 

The biggest failure of a BtM is One for the Money staring Katherine Heigl, in my humble opinion. I loved the Stephanie Plum books.  I consumed these books as quickly as they were released.  I was super excited to hear they were finally going to release a movie after years of waiting.   The character of Stephanie Plum serious are so wonderfully written.  Stephanie is a well rounded characters in the book.  And Yes, at the time of the movie there were 20 some books in publication telling the story of the inept bail bonds person.  Even you have never picked up a book there movie was terrible.  Janet Evanovich was not involved in the process of writing the screen play.  the casting of Katherine Heigl as Stephanie was not believable.  The casting of Joe and Ranger was equally bad.  The only saving grace in the whole movie that made even slightly watchable was Sherrie Shepard casted as Lulu.  I always felt the Stephanie Plum would be a better tv series than a movie.  A criminal of a week type series.  The 2015 Great Gatsby redo was horrible.  Frankly there was nothing redeeming in this movie.  It was hard to watch.  It was difficult to enjoy.  It is a well loved book and offers so many possibilities to the viewer but this movie missed that march completely. 

I am looking forward to the new Julia Quinn Bridgerton Series coming to Netflix this summer.  I love this series of books.  I have read them multiple times along with the Smith-Smythe spin offs.  I do worry about Shonda Rhimes as the executive producer.  I am not always a huge fan of her other projects.  These stories are so good I have such hopes for them. We will see in August.  And never fear fellow bookcases I am sure I will be talking about them.