I love when Hollywood turns a book into a movie. I know a significant amount of debate surrounds the topic, usually prompting the words, “The book is always better.” To that I reply, “Yes, it usually is. But I liked the movie anyway.”
The movie that sparked this line of thought in me today is The City of Ember. I am still (unfortunately) lost in Flu land, where my only comfort is HBO GO and complaining. I genuinely love the story line of this movie/book, and I greatly enjoyed the director’s adaptation of this well written story. Watching it reminded me that I never got around to reading the rest of the series, an oversight on my part-one I plan on correcting immediately. Amazon, here I come.
It seems to me that a lot of people feel the need to chose between a book and a movie. I sometimes wonder why that is. Why can’t I enjoy both? I am a huge fan of J.K. Rowling, and I have read every Harry Potter book she has written within 24 hours of publication. I am also a fan of the movies. Don’t get me wrong, I complained about movie number three being a little off from the book alongside everyone else, but that did not stop me from buying it and watching it numerous times. Nor did the notable absence of Peeves the poltergeist stop me from loving all 8 films (even though there were only 7 books).
While I’m at it, I also loved Memoirs of a Geisha (book and movie both), The Host (though I admit, I had to explain a lot that was left out to my husband who had not read the book), The Devil Wears Prada, The Hunger Games (dying for movie 4), One Day (I cried. A lot.), I Robot (though technically that is a bunch of short stores, and the movie was off in left field. Whatever, it was good anyway), and of course, Interview with a Vampire and Queen of the Damned. There were probably dozens more that I read/watched, but those are the ones I liked that I can think of off the top of my head.
To be fair, there were a few that totally did not capture the awesomeness of the books, and I did not like the film. In these cases, I’m certain that having read the book first ruined what might have otherwise been a good movie (maybe.) The first one off the top of my head is Eragon. Books are amazing. Christopher Paolini is a exceptionally talented author. The actors they picked for the film are all great choices, and skilled actors as well. But for some reason, I really just did not like the film adaptation, and I was not alone. Another Example of this odd phenomenon, since I usually do like on-screen adaptations, was the sword of truth TV series based off Terry Goodkind’s novels. I am a giant Goodkind fan. I’ve read everything of his except the most recent (haven’t bought it yet, but will.) I even like the Law of Nines, which is not technically part of the Sword of Truth series. The TV series just didn’t capture Richard for me, and I already had an impression of him in my mind from having followed him through a dozen books. In this particular instance, reading the book made the series impossible for me to like.
Even though there are exceptions to every rule- even ones we make for ourselves- I try to follow this line of thought: Love the movie as a movie, and love the book as a book. Who cares if you liked one better than the other? It doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate it for what it is.