Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Books Vs. Movies

Twice this week, I have had conversations comparing books to their movie or television show versions. Sometimes what we see on the screen has very little to do with a book of the same title.

Dr. Good Sense and I had a discussion about “He’s Just Not Into You.” I loved the movie and she loved the book but they don't have much in common except a title and a concept. The book gives examples of dating behavior, but in a “let us explain this to you” sort of way, while the movie has some great characters who are all experiencing the types of dating behavior found in the book.

Mr. Dreamy says "Band of Brothers" is a good book but the show was even better. Now this is a rare occurrence. After having seen most of the show, I think it was so good because is was ten hours long, which meant there was time to include tons of details and relationships that would have been lost in a two hour movie. I guess this is like a single title book becoming a single title movie rather than taking a single title book and creating a category movie.

Finally, many of us have experienced the Stookie Stackhouse phenomenon in the last few seasons. There are characters on "True Blood" that aren’t in the books and many of the characters in the show are very, very different from the ones in the books. There are so many differences that I know a couple of people who say they enjoy the show but just pretend it doesn’t have anything to do with the books; otherwise, the changes would annoy them too much to enjoy the show.

Have you ever watched a movie or show based on a book and thought “What the heck?”
What is the best or worst example you can think of this conversion trouble?


  1. I can think of one example where I liked the movie better--Gone With the Wind. Not that I didn't love the book, but I cut my teeth on the movie. It was when I read the book that I thought, "What the heck? Scarlett had children other than Bonnie Blue Butler?"

    While I am blaspheming here I'm going to go ahead and own up the the fact that I have no use for Melanie--none. So what that she was kind? So what that she was lady? She was laid up in the bed while Scarlett was digging in the dirt and making dresses out of curtains in order to feed them all. If they'd had to depend on Melanie, they would have starved to death.

    I'm not sure what brought all that on. It had nothing to do with Plotter's question. I do know what she would say: "Welcome to my world."

  2. I'm a fan of both books and movies/TV, but sometimes one doesn't bear much resemblance to the other. The show The Vampire Diaries has lots of stuff different than the L.J. Smith books. I enjoyed the movie The Golden Compass right up until they messed up the ending. I think that's one of the reasons there will probably not be a sequel. They Disney-fied of the movie the ending and that made it much less dramatic.

  3. Years ago, I read A Year in Provence and loved it so much. I also read all the sequels. The BBC made a series based on the book -- and it was so unlike the book, so far off base, that I hated it. Since the book was a memoir, I didn't understand why they needed to change it so drastically for the series. The only thing the two had in common was the name.

    Also, the actor was the guy who played Inspector Morse (a show I loved), and all I could see was Morse instead of Peter Mayle.

  4. I have seen this too. Though I will be the first to admit that I haven't read too many books before a movie was made about them.

    There is one particular exception. My hubby insisted I read The Killer Angels. Since it wasn't a romance I hesitated but he spoke so highly of it, I gave it a try. It was an awesome book, which was shortly afterward made into the movie Gettsyburg. The movie was exactly like the book, characters chosen specifically like the characters in the book. All brought to life by the actors in a phenomenal way.

    The North And South was a fabulous mini-series. Having seen the series first and then reading the book, I was shocked to see that Ory Main lost his arm, instead of gallant George fighting to keep his leg. One simply cannot imagine Patrick Swayze walking around without an arm. :(

    The Twilight movies are very well done, bringing the books to magnificent light. I'm excited to see Eclipse in the next few weeks, as I'm sure everyone else in the world is.

    What about Harry Potter? How do you feel about the move from the books to movies?

    And if a movie was made about your books, who do you invision portraying your characters?

  5. Dune by Frank Herbert. Every time they make the movie (and they're up to three now) no one ever gets it right. It's such a complex book that I am sure that is the reason - no one can get it all down in three hours.

    You are preaching to the choir Panster! Melanie needed a good, swift, kick in the posterior! Such a whiner! And Ashley...well, he was a wuss! I guess since all the Wilks married their cousins there is a reason they were like that. Their family tree must have been a stump. Give me Rhett and Scarlett anytime!

    Back to the question...The Stand by Stephen King (which was made into a mini-series starring, sigh, Gary Sinese) was very well done. It produced nearly as many nightmares as the book!

    Kathy - my hero would be portrayed by Adrian Paul!

  6. Apparently I am sadly lacking on today's topic. Or I just can't think of a movie vs. book example right now due to the smell from the homemade soup simmering in the kitchen and the fact that I am starving! :-D
    So I'll just wave Hello and say that I too think Melanie enjoyed poor health a little too much and yes, Ashely was a complete wuss.

    Cheryl...family stump! LOL

  7. Oh, Adrian Paul! The Highlander. Barbara Vey said he was more handsome and charming in person. She even got a hug from him at Comi-Con, a few years ago.

    I feel very content now that I have Taylor Kitsch set on my laptop desktop. He is the hero of my current WIP.

    The hero of my next pirate book will be Simon Baker of The Mentalist. Woo-hoo!

    And Ian Somerhalder will be the hero of my third pirate book. Yay!

  8. Hey everyone, I am sorry to have been out of pocket all day but happy to see you all carried on with out me.

    Ohh, I love that Simon Baker. I am not usually a fan of the blonde but he always looks like he is about to be up to something that is no good.

    Thanks to everyone for sharing their books/movies/shows thoughts with the rest of us.