An interesting trend I’ve seen on Twitter recently has to do with review excerpts authors are tweeting. More and more these reviews indicate that the book would make a wonderful movie (!!). Those are pretty high accolades. I think about all of the movies I have seen that were born as novels and I know the transition is a difficult one. Folks talk about it all of the time.
“Yeah, I saw it but I thought the book was much better.”
“I liked it but it wasn’t as good as the book.”
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a movie that was better than the book, but some movies stick out as great ones all on their own. The Shawshank Redemption comes to mind. It might come down to a matter of taste. Maybe it’s a reader-vs-viewer thing. I think it has to do with how we visualize scenes and characters in a book and if our imagined view doesn’t coincide, we feel a little put out.
When there are novels adapted to film, the potential is always there for a written masterpiece to become a visual one. An experience I had earlier this year showed me that the book to film thing can work in reverse. Right after the start of the new year, I watched The Help at my sister’s. I knew there was a book and I had no real intention of reading it. I so thoroughly enjoyed the movie that I bought the book the very next day. When I read the book, my mind’s eye applied the characters and scenes from the movie to the scenes and characters in the book and I got to enjoy the story on a whole new level.
So, what are your experiences? Do you generally shun films adapted from a book? Do you judge the films by your reading experience or can you accept them on their own?