In general, I don’t like movies. They make me too emotional and I don’t like sitting still in front of the TV for that long. But occasionally I will enjoy a good movie. M and I recently went to see Beauty and the Beast, which got me thinking about best book-to-movie adaptations. I can obviously only comment on books and movies where I have read the book and seen the movie, which limits me greatly. I can, however, come up with top five easy:
- The Harry Potter Series: This series had huge shoes to fill. I think it helped that J.K. Rowling was so involved in production and was able to steer the movies in the direction she pictured. All of these movies are amazing, and I could watch them over and over again, just like I can read the series over and over again. Winner: Books
- The Lord of the Rings Series: These novels also had huge shoes to fill, and did not have the author’s input to fall back on. This didn’t stop these movies from being amazingly thrilling and beautiful. I think they won a bunch of Oscars for costumes and cinematography and other things I don’t care about… Winner: Books
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: These movies were definitely disturbing, but I thought they were on the same level of disturbing as the novel, which I loved. (To be clear, I have not seen the original movie adaptation, I only saw the American version with James Bond). I also thought Lisbeth was easier to sympathize and relate to in the book. Winner: Book
- Silver Linings Playbook: This is one of the only movies on this list that I saw before reading the book. I loved both. I have seen the movie numerous times now and can’t get over how great it is. The book I’ve only read once, but I was pleasantly surprised by how easily readable it was and how funny! Winner: Movie
- Jurassic Park: This is just a classic. Both the book and the movie. It is hard for me to pick my favorite, but I will say I grew up watching this movie and have only read the book once, a very long time ago. Perhaps it was because I was familiar with the plot line, but I remember thinking the book was vaguely boring, while the movie is anything but. Winner: Movie
Book-to-movie adaptations that you won’t find on this list because they were bad:
- Gone Girl: I was seriously disappointed in this adaptation. I was so excited after thoroughly enjoying Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, but the movie fell mostly flat and was incredibly disturbing and over-the-top violent in one or two scenes. No thanks. Winner: Book
- Gone with the Wind: I don’t know if I hated the movie or the book more in this case. Both went on way to long about eating dirt or whatever. Winner: I guess book?
- Eragon: While this was one of my favorite book series growing up, the movie was so bad I do not think I finished it. Winner: Book
- Twilight: Both the movie and the book I consider to be jokes, so really, there is no winner here.