Friday, March 29, 2013

Books Into Movies: The Bad

Yesterday, I listed my top three film adaptations. And, we're not talking about the Oscar ones (well.... 'The Godfather' won), but just regular books that turn into regular movies.

I have way more books-to-film that I like than don't like, but there are a few where I am like, "Huh? Did that just happen?"

Beware.... All of these are going to contain spoilers. If you feel like you want to read or see these and want to be surprised, then you don't need to read this post.

About 99% of us probably had to read this classic in high school and/or college. It has become such a part of our collective consciousness that all anyone has to do is refer to 'The Scarlet Letter' and everyone immediately knows what is being implied in the conversation. It's basically a part of our pop culture (hi, 'Easy A').

So, imagine my disappointment when I watched the Demi Moore film and saw that not only was it COMPLETELY destroying a literary classic, but it was just an awful film. Like, I'd rather watch 'Striptease.'

I mean, I get there is some poetic license. However, in this film it was basically the same names and time period.... that was it. Hester Prynne literally rode off into the sunset with her new family.

To be fair, this wasn't a bad movie. It actually was pretty good. You just have to put aside the book in order to enjoy the movie.

Again, I'm usually ok with detail changes. I'm ok with a film leaving out parts of the book. I can enjoy them separately. However, I do expect that if a film is going to be based on a book that the major stuff stays the same.

Like, the fact that in 'My Sister's Keeper' the Abigail Breslin character should have died. 

Yep. In the book, Anna ends up getting into an accident and dies. She ends up donating her organs.... and, in turn, saves her sister Kate (Sofia Vassilieva's character). That is the entire point of the book. A MAJOR point in the book.

In the film, Kate dies and Anna goes on to live her life.

Like I said, the movie was good. It was a tearjerker. Had I gone into it thinking that it was a regular movie with a regular Hollywood ending, I would have been fine with it. 

They just shouldn't have ever named it 'My Sister's Keeper.' Because when they did that, I went in expecting a very specific ending.

How ironic that one of my favorite and one of my least favorites are both Nicholas Sparks' adaptations.

I feel about this one much as I do about 'My Sister's Keeper.' Overall, it was a pretty good chick flick. I did like the movie. It's just that the dramatic departure from the book's ending left me feeling like they shouldn't have ever named it 'Dear John' after the book.

Reading this back over, I guess my main problem with film adaptations is that the beginning and ending need to be the same. Yes, there will be some detail changes in the middle, but the overall experience needs to be consistent.

Imagine for a second if Voldemort would have won?

Or, think about the first time you saw 'Breaking Dawn 2' and you (along with the entire theater) started freaking out because it looked like they were going to kill off all of these characters that aren't supposed to be killed off?

It would have completely made the films suck.

So, let that be a lesson, filmmakers. Do you hear me? When I go see 'The Great Gatsby" later this year, Leo better die.


Gina said...

I refuse to see My Sister's Keeper because I loved the book so much. I hear the Notebook is fantastic but I won't see that for the same reason. If I cry THAT many tears over a book, I may not see the movie.

A Country Girls World said...

I agree with Gina, I refused to watch My Sisters Keeper after I found out that the ending changed. I was also extremely disappointed in Dear John because A. I thought the actors had zero chemistry and B. because his relationship with his dad was such a major part in the book but they downplayed it in the movie just to make it a sappy love story .... grrrr

LWLH said...

I've never read My Sister's Keeper so I didn't know that was suppose to happen. Womp. I'm def. not on board with changing a major plot point like that