Saturday Read: The Movies Are Better Than The Books!

Making a great book into a movie is often the kiss of death. Fans of the book criticize the movie to no end, critics shame the director for fouling such a work of art, etc, etc. Everyone and everything surrounding a book-to-movie production seems very, well, dramatic. And unsuccessful. However, there are a few movies out there that got it all right, enhancing the book and even telling the story even better than the book itself.

And this is coming from a self-proclaimed reading snob.

I’ve created a list of my top 4 books made into movies. Granted, I have not seen every movie ever made that is based on a book, but I think I have a pretty good base to choose from. Let me know if you agree or add your own to the list

#4. Lord of the Rings Trilogy

I know that I’m probably going to get flack for this one from the hard-core fans, but making “The Lord of the Rings” novels into movies was not only one of the best financial decisions ever made (raking in a cool BILLION on ticket sales and rentals alone), but also a smart pop culture move. Before the movies, the books and whole “culture” of LOTR were fairly underground; some people read the books in school, but other than that, they weren’t terribly popular. And I’d like to think I know why.

I tried to read the books. I barely got through the first one and had to give up. I’m not a detail person so I found several pages describing the movement of grass in a valley to be WAY too much. But then I saw the movie – which obviously eliminated all that need for boring description – and it. was. awesome. The story, the drama, the imagination that went into coming up with all those characters and details. Good move with the movie, LOTR people. A good move, indeed.

#3. Girl, Interrupted

“Girl, Interrupted” is actually an autobiography. Susanna Kaysen was committed to a mental institution in 1967 because reality had become too “dense.” Susanna was certainly not crazy, so her account of her 2 year stay makes for a super interesting read. However, the visual is so much more compelling. You can read about the interesting characters she encounters all you like, but when you actually see them there is a much greater impact. Matched with Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder’s superb acting skills (critically acclaimed, in fact!), the story just takes flight. I found myself to be much more attached to and affected by the movie compared to the book. Some things you just have to see for yourself, I guess!

#2. The Bourne Trilogy

After I realized that the Jason Bourne movies were actually based on action novels, I rushed to the library to pick up “The Bourne Identity.” I was shocked at the size of it: a whopping 544 pages! Needless to say I less-than-quickly read through it and was left wanting more. The movies were so action-packed and kept me on the edge of my seat and the books fell a little bit flat. Perhaps this was because I had already seen the movie, but I really feel like the book is a bit of overkill. For example, the first 60 or so pages explain how a Frenchman found Jason floating in the middle of the ocean and nursed him back to health on an island. In the movie, that same part took about 30 seconds to explain. I just found that the screenwriters did a really good job of cutting out the unnecessary junk in the book and making a really streamlined, fast-paced thriller (as all action books and movies should be).

#1. The Notebook

Originally written by Nicholas Sparks, “The Notebook” was a best-selling novel. But despite how well it did as a book, the movie just blows it out of the water. I won’t give away too much plot for those 3 people on earth who haven’t seen it, but basically, it revolves around the epic love story of Allie and Noah. From their humble beginnings as teenagers, to a rough time where they almost lose each other due to family problems, to them as seniors, the movie encompasses their entire lives together.

The film is heartfelt and tells the story so perfectly, jumping between the past to the present. The cast was perfect and everything from the script to the scenes to the superb acting just draws the viewer into the story. I’m typically not a crier, but I cry every. time. I watch this movie. It truly is book-to-movie perfection.

CC Beauty Live: The Smokey Eye
CC Beauty Live: The Smokey Eye
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