Sunday, November 27, 2011

From Page to Screen to My Heart

I’m an avid reader and a lover of film. When the two intersect, I kind of love it. I know that makes me a rarity – hating the movie based on a book is a popular position to take in social circles. Some argue that in all cases, the book is better than the film based on it.

I couldn’t disagree more – I’ve seen fantastic cinematic interpretations of popular books. The Color Purple, The Horse Whisperer, Cold Mountain – all great books made into even greater films.

I love seeing the movie after reading the book. (I even tried to start a Page to Screen book club once, but couldn’t get anyone else on board.) For me, watching film adaptations is exciting because I get to see images and characters co-created in my imagination come to life. Because you can imagine Mr. Darcy rejecting Elizabeth’s invitation to dance all you want – seeing Colin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen actually do it is that much more delicious. It’s not about getting things right – sometimes the differences between my vision and a film director’s vision are the most compelling.

I’ve experienced a few glaring exceptions. Ben Mezrich’s Bringing Down the Housebeing adapted into the ridiculous, Hollywood-y 21? Awful. (A true MIT genius wouldn't have to work retail to pay for tuition. Puh-lease.) Changing everything about my beloved The Dark Is Risingby Susan Cooper to make the disastrous The Seeker? Don’t even get me started. (Merriman is defined by his white hair – why is he played by Ian McShane? Why is Ephram from Everwoodtagging along? And why the hell is everyone American?)

But for the most part, if it’s a film based on a book, I’m in. After I read the book. That’s the only way to do it, in my opinion.

I just read the first book in The Hunger Games series,so I’m particularly excited to see this:

Though I'm nervous about the Ender's Game movie adaptation. They better do that book justice or I'm going to be one pissed off fangirl.

What are your favorite books turned favorite movies? Tell me below and I’ll add them to my library holds list!

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