Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 6 -- Movies vs. Books

Day 06 – A book that was adapted into a movie you liked better than the book (or a book adapted into a movie you hated, or both)
Favorite book of your favorite series OR your favorite book of all time

The last is apparently the original topic in the meme; the first is what Sylvan, from whom I got the idea to do this meme, has suggested, since the topic really already has been covered.

Generally I like books better than the movies from which they are made. When I read, if the book is well written, I HAVE a movie in my head from the story, and almost inevitably the movie is disappointing.

One such movie/book was "Love Story," a book I read (first and only time) over lunch one day back in the very early 1970s, sobbing my way through the story. I usually read if I'm eating lunch by myself, and that day I sat there until I'd finished the little book, snuffling and mopping tears, and loving the story.

It was touching, engaging, tragic, very romantic. I was fairly newly married myself, although I don't remember being as entranced by my then-husband as were Jenny and Oliver by each other. But I was not long out of college and could relate to their ages, if not their exact situations. I liked the dialogue, the simplicity of the plot.

And then I saw the movie. Yuk. Not only was Jenny, played by a vapid Ali McGraw, not what I'd pictured, her father (played by John Marley) was completely and totally wrong. Ryan O'Neal was cute, sure, and very preppy. His rigid father (Ray Milland) was okay. But Ali's open-mouthed, one-dimensional portrayal turned me so off! It was so disappointing.

After that I always approached movies adapted from books I'd loved reading with great caution, not expecting much. Mostly I was right -- the books were far better than the movies.

On the other hand, both the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Harry Potter series have been stunningly brought to life in the theater. Although I still prefer the books for the depth and richness of the language and detail, the characters and incredibly detailed sets have etched themselves into our visual memories. They are true to the descriptions in the books, amazingly so, and hopefully have enticed viewers to discover for themselves the stories as well.

I've found that my movie experiences with these series was greatly enhanced because I'd read the books first.

Sometimes I've read the book after seeing the movie: "Marley and Me" is the most recent. Of course my mental movie as I read the book starred Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston, but it was a good read, and I puddled up at the end, just as I did in the movie.

I'm anticipating "Eat, Pray, Love." I loved the book; I've seen or read most of the Elizabeth Gilbert interviews, and I like Julia Roberts. We'll see.

No comments: