Monday, May 16, 2011

Movie/Book vs. Book/Movie

The blogging world is seemingly full of avid readers- which would make sense, usually if you like to write, you like to read and vice versa. So I have a question for you... which do you prefer- to read a book and then go see the movie, or see the movie and then read the book?

I ask because in the last two weeks I have seen two of my favorite books-turned-movies and, while I liked both, I always get so frustrated at the short-comings of the movie versions.

I completely understand that if they were to include all the excruciating detail and intense character development that most books have in the movie, it would be five hours long.  And no one has the patience for that. BUT, I don't think there has been a single instance where I have walked away from a movie thinking "that was SO much better than the book". Or even "just as good" for that matter.

I've never (that I can remember) seen a movie first and then read the book, but I'm thinking about switching. I think it might take away that frustration over the lack of character development and those situations where the people cast don't match with how you pictured them in your head. BUT, will I get bored with the book since I already know the outcome?  That is one of my favorite parts about reading- not being able to put the book down because you just have to know how it ends. 

Anyone out there with the same frustrations? Have you tried switching to movie first, book second?


For the curious among you, the two books/movies I'm talking about are Water for Elephants and Something Borrowed

Water for Elephants was my favorite out of the two movies. I thought they did a great job sticking fairly close to the book- I even was okay with the slight change to the ending. But I saw the movie literally about two hours after I finished the book, so it just lacked that detail that was fresh on my mind. 

Something Borrowed I honestly didn't expect to like. I loved the book, but I had heard others say they were underwhelmed by the movie. So I think going into it with that expectation helped. Even though it was a significant deviation, I loved the change to the storyline with Ethan. I thought John Krasinski brought a lot to the movie.  Wish I could say the same for the chemistry between Ginnifer Goodwin and Colin Egglesfield. 

Speaking of Something Borrowed, how gorgeous did Kate Hudson look at the premiere? 

Okay, rant over. I'll get back to reading Bossypants. Tina Fey is hilarious, but the book is so scattered that I doubt they'll be making a movie out of it anytime soon. With my last two experiences, I'm beginning to think that could be a good thing!


melissa said...

Couldn't agree more! Movies based on books are almost always disappointing. The few exceptions to that rule I have found are the Harry Potter movies, which I think are great (though not as good as the books) and To Kill A Mockingbird. The book is my all-time favorite and nothign will top it, but the movie with Gregory Peck is wonderful.

I haven't seen Water for Elephants or Something Borrowed yet, for the exact reasons you mentioned - they never live up! But, if the opportunity arises I'd go see either. I recently saw a preview for the movie version of The Help and I'm so disappointed already. Emma Stone is just not Skeeter. I don't know how much you can really tell from a preview, but it doesn't seem like they've caputured the book as I experienced it at all.

As for seeing a movie, then reading the book, I can't think of many times I've done that. I saw Jurassic Park before I read the book and the book still measured up for me. Can't think of any others I've seen, then read.

And so ends the world's longest comment.

Cheryl said...

I totally agree! I still need to See Water for Elephants, but you were RIGHT ON about the Ethan character. He made the movie. I was okay with Marley and Me (though there were years between the book and movie). Shopaholic was pretty bad, too. The Other Boelyn Girl was the worst, though. Awesome book. Horrible movie. Upcoming books to movies: The Help (August) and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (December).

I think that I will continue to read then watch. It just feels right that way.