The most sensitive transition on the face of this earth are books turned into movies. I’m always torn, like most, between ecstatic or, optimistic. But largely I’m resigned to the fact I’ll be completely devastated once I actually see the adaption. It’s like movie makers don’t have a clue what their audience wants sometimes.
I have this theory. People who love the books are fiercely dedicated to the plot, characters, character relationships, setting etc. To see those even deviated slightly is a crime punishable by a 5% on Rotten Tomatoes. But for some reason, movie makers think the book adaption won’t appeal to a broad audience (somehow forgetting the books already sold, potentially, millions of copies and are on the NYT bestseller list). So instead of appeasing the book or movie crowd, they try to appease both. Which leaves the films half baked and the audience wondering why they spent their entire paycheck on a trip to the movies.
Needless to say, I’m not a huge fan of book-to-movie adaptions. Some them are OK. I mean, The Book Thief could have been better; Flipped lacked fluency and general enjoyability; Charlie St. Cloud was fundamentally changed; and The Maze Runner was just a long movie where everyone shouted and ran around a lot. But they were bearable. However, some things just are inexcusable. Honestly, I’m not asking much. I mean all you have to do is follow the general story line and include the major events. I’m not even asking you to include all the conversations. Just some of them. Here, in no particular order, are my picks for the WORST book-to-movie adaptions. I’ve made my feelings about most of these movies clear. But I’m going into further detail on this post.
1.) The Giver
I’m quite attached to The Giver. I see it as the last dystopian before the descent into madness that is teen angst and a platform for high key romance. I had hoped since you know, it’s only like 250 pages long (and small pages at that!!!). They’d be able to pull something effective together. Alas, it was not meant to be. Since the trailer, I recognized the movie as the train wreck it will always be. The whole movie is interjected with “action” that doesn’t actually happen in the book; kissing Fiona, Fiona being threatened, Jonas’ friend hunting him down. It just doesn’t happen. I mean, I think we all know where this budget went; Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges aren’t cheap you know.
2.) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
The foreboding Harry returns to Hogwarts yet again for a year of professors not believing him and then taking matters into his own hands. Only this time, it’s complete with Harry’s bad temper and the worst person to walk the face of the earth; Umbridge. Thankfully Hermione is able to dispel some of it with common sense and clean up some of the mess. The book is not even remotely like the book, and the only thing that is done justice is Umbridge and Sirius’ death. What is the whole thing with Harry being possessed by Voldemort and then turning on Dumbledore? Wtheck? IDK, but what’s done is done.
3.) Ella Enchanted
Ella Enchanted is the book I will always love. It holds a special place in my heart as one of my favorite childhood reads. Prince Char, oh my! *fans self*. I seriously loved reading their romance. And then. The movie happened. So the romance is RAMPED up and Areida’s friendship is essentially shoved out of the plot all together. Definitely not the best of Anne Hathaway’s career. Plus the cheesy dance number at the end to Queen? Please. Spare me. Also, no letters, and she’s completely victimized. The only thing she does is be saved by Prince Char. It’s like in addition to being forced to follow order, she HAS to sit there and do nothing. Such a disappointment.
4.) My Sister’s Keeper
I actually loved My Sister’s Keeper. An irony so strong at the end it broke my heart. Plus, I didn’t see the ending coming; it’s pretty unique in terms of books about cancer. The movie… While I did appreciate the performances of all the actors/actresses, particularly Cameron Diaz, the ending was so basic. Like it’s hard to understand why they made the movie at all.
I realize this post was very rage filled, but I feel very strongly about all these books/movies!! I promise my next post will be more… gushing.
Post Script: I realize Eragon isn’t on here, and while I’ve heard it was a terrible adaption via my husband, I don’t actually remember the book or the movie well enough to confidently write a review of it.
What are some book-to-movie adaptions you’ve despised? Tell me about them!!