It’s a truth universally acknowledged that the book is usually better than the movie. As a result whenever Hollywood announces that they’re going to be making an adaptation of one of our favourites we, as booklovers, react with a mixture of excitement and fear. Will our favourite characters be brought to life before our eyes or will they ruin our beloved so completely that we fall into a vicious spiral of rage, ranting into the wee small hours, and get ready to journey to Tinseltown to ‘re-educate’ the producers?
With the sequel to The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, due to be unleashed in the very near future it got me thinking about some of the many, many other book/movie adaptations that are out there…
1. The Hunger Games
There is every chance that my best friend may stop speaking to me out of disgust for what I’m about to say. While her hatred of this film can only be rivalled by her reaction when Disney announced they were releasing the likes of Pocahontas 2, I actually quite liked The Hunger Games. Woody Harrelson did a good job as Haymitch, Effie Trinket was exactly how I pictured her and there was enough of a feel of the book that I could enjoy it.
Having said that I wouldn’t recommend watching it if you haven’t read the book first. There’s a lot of stuff missing like Katniss’s inner monologue which explains a lot about how she’s feeling about the whole Gale/Peeta thing; despite the fact it’s about teenagers fighting to the death there’s more action and violence in tv shows these days, and even though District 12 is the poorest of them all, everyone looks really clean and well-fed. If you haven’t seen The Honest Trailer for this film you really need to because it’s hilarious!
2. Pride and Prejudice
I try to pretend that the Keira Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice didn’t happen so I’m not going to mention it here. To me the only adaptation of this amazing book that matters is the BBC version starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. They just ARE Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett. The story was told so well that I’m sure even Jane Austen herself would have approved and the iconic scene where Mr Darcy emerges from the lake with his wet white shirt clinging to him brought a ray of sunshine into many living rooms around the world. Sigh…excuse me while I drift off for a minute… And I’m back! I even liked the Bollywood version of this, Bride and Prejudice. Never in a million years would I have imagined that setting this classic in India and throwing in some incredibly cheesy song and dance numbers would work but it really does! Sometimes you just need a little cheese! 🙂
3. The Jane Austen Bookclub
Now I have to admit I’ve not actually read this book but from reading the reviews and speaking to some reliable sources who have, it seems like this is a rare case where the film is much better than the movie. It’s one of my all-time favourite, go to movies when I just need to unwind or cheer myself up. A group of women (and one man) in Southern California forming a bookclub that is all Jane Austen, all the time. It’s funny, it’s sweet and I want to be in this bookclub. I don’t want to be in a bookclub like this bookclub, I want to be in that exact bookclub I love it so much! I used to think it was impossible not to love this movie but then I watched it with my mum…. to say I was stunned when she said she hated it was an understatement. Don’t get me wrong, my mum is one of my very favourite people but after this I was seriously forced to question her sanity! Check it out for yourself and you’ll see I’m right!
What about you? What’s your favourite/most hated adaptation?
Are you looking forward to Catching Fire?