Friday, April 5, 2013

Discussion post: Novels turned into movies?

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Beautiful Creatures, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Holes, Ella Enchanted, The Host...

Just to name a few, those are some books that have been turned into movies these past few (or more) years.

It feels as if all of our beloved books are being turned into movies. Nowadays, it seems as if Hollywood is growing stale. They revamp older movies, retell certain stories, or pick a book to turn into a major motion picture. Our books.

So since I love discussion posts, I was wondering:

What do you think of books being turned into movies?

Most of the time, before the movie comes out, I hear the excitement. They love the fact that they will be able to see their favorite scene (hopefully) come on the big screen. Instead of just imagining, they will be able to see what the hot male lead looks like. They will not have to just imagine anymore and watch their favorite story told before their eyes in images.

But while there is excitement, there are also doubts. Understandably so, the fans doubt if Hollywood will be able to show it correctly. What if they leave out their favorite kissing or action or emotional scene? What if they go watch the movie and they actually didn't dye the bleach blonde actor to play the brunette character? What if...

There are tons. As fans of books, we have been let down over and over again.

Usually, after we see the movie, we aren't happy with it. At least, that is what I see from people around me. "That wasn't anything like the book!" I hear. Ella Enchanted, anyone? I like the movie version of Ella Enchanted and Anne Hathaway's other book-turned-movie The Princess Diaries. That is, until I read the books which the movies were based on and realized what film-watchers were missing out on. I love Anne Hathaway and those movies are part of my childhood...but it would be even better if the movies actually resembled the books more. Of course, The Hunger Games and Harry Potter did really well so maybe Hollywood can hit the mark.

** I have never seen or read any Harry Potter media so I may be very off. Since everyone seems to like it, I am guessing. As for Hunger Games, except for a couple parts and the ending, they did very well.
Ha, Hollywood hit the mark. Get it? Too cheesy? I'll go on...
What is my opinion?

I like when books are being turned into movies. 

As you can guess since I have a book blog, I love books. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. I feel connected to the characters and for a little while, I can be transported into a different world (even in contemporary). So the thought of one of the books I have read and liked being turned into a movie makes me thrilled. I'm a visual person. I like to see things. Picturing them in your mind is fun, but actually seeing it? Even better for me.

However, like everyone else, I still have my hesitations whenever Hollywood announces a new project. To be honest, I just want to hear your opinions on the subject. I want to know:

What is your take on books being turned into film? 

Tell meeee. Comment below :)


  1. I don't mind when books are turned into movies, as long as they keep the spirit of the story, if that makes sense. I expect that they'll make changes--and they should!--and I can usually enjoy it as an adaptation if certain things are done well.

    But sometimes there are things that they change that might be deal breakers for me. Like I mostly enjoyed Hunger Games overall, but it INFURIATED me that they excluded the sacrifice/silent salute from Rue's district know. Such a small but important moment, and my favorite one in the book.

    Still mad about that after all this time, hah.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    1. It does make absolute sense.

      Yes! Thank you! That's what I hated in the movie as well. I got there other changes and expected them, but that scene? I was shocked. I wanted to yell throughout the theater for everyone to read the books and to not believe the screen!

      Ha :)

  2. Great topic! :) I think that when a book turns into a movie, it always makes more people read the book, and I'm all for that! However, I have to think of the book and the movie as separate stories, or just "loosely inspired by" each other and not compare them. For instance, I love the Princess Diary books, and I used to watch the Princess Diaries movie all the time when it first came out. To me, when thought about individually, each is good in its own right; the Princess Diary books have that sense of humor I adore so much, and the movie is really sweet. But when I start comparing them to each other I realize how much I'm against the movie!

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

    1. Agreed! Exactly! I love them both, but to think that the movie is actually based on the books? I'm thinking it's all wrong!

  3. I love when books are turned into movies, I really do. Like you said, it rocks to see your favorite scenes on the screen. But-- I can be very disappointed easily. The Hunger Games disappointed me, honestly. Those little changed parts were enough. And don't even get me started on Neil Gaiman's Stardust on the screen-- I have to not connect it with the book in order to enjoy it. But I actually read LotR, and I have to admit to liking the movies better? It can go either way with me, honestly. But I love when movies come out-- if anything, I can tear them apart in my mind, right? ;) Lovely post, Sunny!

    Megan@The Book Babe

    1. Ooh, I've never heard of Stardust. I agree with you on LotR. Yes! Thank you :)

  4. I agree with you. I hear the hype, then usually disappointment.

    I get very excited to hear that a book series will be turned into movies. However, I will never understand some of the choices directors make. Like when they put something random in, or, change the storyline so much all I'm thinking is "that's not how it happens!". I get that sometimes it's better time-wise to cut corners but sometimes I just don't see the necessity of changing how it's written in the book.

    I do like seeing the characters come to life. I also kind of wish movie makers would be a little more creative, have we always taken movie ideas from books so heavily? It seems that they come in waves, too. Like, all of a sudden fairy tales and folklore movies all come out together. Or penguin movies. Or, yet another Spiderman movie even though we'd just seen 3. (Although I hear it's different enough. Still!)

    Am I way out in left field with this? Also, what did you think of the Hobbit?!


    1. I love what you said! I basically want to warn everyone in the theater that that did NOT happen. I get WHY they change things sometimes, but then other times, I don't see a point and wish they had left it alone.

      Ha, I never fully realized it but you're so right! They'll do it in heavy streams of one thing.

      You are definitely not! And....I thought it was long. I honestly can't remember some of it. I hated that they're splitting it up into two movies! What did you think?

    2. Ha. My husband hasn't read Harry Potter yet so when we watch the movies I have to say "it's so much better in the books!" Although I did like the movies, too.

      I didn't know they'd split it into two movies until the movie suddenly stopped! Ha. But I re-read the beginning of the Hobbit and the first few scenes in the movie are pretty much exactly as it was written including a lot of the dialogue. Since HP split the 7th movie, then the last Twilight movie split on it's heels, it's become the "thing" to do now. But I hate when they do this for short books/books with not enough drama to warrant another film; only for the revenue. I'm on the fence about the Hobbit.
      Hmm I did not know I had so much to say about this. haha. Thanks for the great topic!

  5. You know, I don't mind books turned into movies, but I really must see them as two separate things. I can enjoy the movie as long as I don't think about the book and all the details they leave out of the story. I quite liked the movies from Harry Potter and I think the casting was amazing, but I still missed a lot of things and I still get mad over part 6, because that is one horrible movie.

    Sometimes, I end up liking the movie better. I just can't read the LOTR books, but I adore the movies!


    1. That's what I seriously need to do. I shouldn't think of them as one, but as two. Haha!

  6. I also enjoy seeing books turned into movies, as long as I can remember that they are two separate things and the quality of the movie should not taint my love of the book. Novels' cinematic counterparts rarely live up to the original work, but they can be a nice way to revisit a world in a slightly different way, and I never expect them to be as good as the book on which they were based.

    I don't have a problem with plot-changing; it would be impractical to be nitpicky about that. But I do like seeing the themes transfer well to the screen, and The Hunger Games did a great job with this. It would have been easy to turn it into a purely action-driven murder movie, but the people behind it managed to maintain the messages about the story's society and how it is not all that different from our own. It is extremely important that the director, the cast, and everyone else involved understand the story and the characters because disaster will ensue otherwise.

    1. See, someone mentioning that they picture as two separate things. I really need to do that and it will help my emotions during the movie ;)

      Yes! Cannot agree more with that whole paragraph.

  7. Haha I always get a bit excited for the movie if I've read the book first but otherwise If it's a book I love to pieces like TFIOS I get a bit nervous an start rambling all over the place. I am a huge fan of The Hunger Games Books and I used to really like the movie. But looking back on it was a bit of let down compared to the books. because all though it was good. It was long and boring at some stages. Thanks for sharing :D

    1. Haha, I totally understand. Thanks for commenting!

  8. I like adaptations but I have a view of them as separate from the original, not everything in a book can translate well unto screen so some changes have to be made. I always go into movies based on books with three questions.
    a) If I had never read the book would I understand and enjoy this film as a movie?
    b) Do the changes enhance the story or only serve to slow down or take away from the tone of the story?
    c) Do I feel that the film is true to the original source material in it's essence and did it make me feel the way the novel did?

    If I can say yes to all three then I view it as a good adaptation :)

    1. Ooh that's a nice way to look at it! I'll have to ask myself those questions :) Thanks for commenting!

  9. I'm usually pretty excited with adaptations, though lately I have been a little disappointed with casting decisions. At this point I almost want to watch the movies first so I don't find them a disappointment. lol There are always these tiny details that seem so simple to add that are important to the books that get left out. It saddens me. I'm going to use a Twilight example (yes, I know!) In Eclipse the movie when Edward gives her the diamond heart charm, all he says is something about being represented as well. How hard would it have been to add this sweet line from the book, "But I thought it was a good representation, it's hard and cold and it throws rainbows in the sunlight... My heart is just as silent, and it, too, is yours." Ugh, IDK it always bugged me that it was left out. But I guess everyone has little scenes like that they love and they can't include everything.

    The best adaptation I have ever seen is The Lord of the Rings trilogy. They followed so closely to the books and it was done so well. I don't think I'll ever seen an adaptation as perfect.

    I LOVE the Harry Potter movies but there was A LOT left out. They are super long books so I get it, but certain things in the last few movies disappointed me. :(

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

    1. Oy vey, casting decisions. That's another point I forgot to add. I used to JUST watch the movies and then I would go back and forth between whether or not I'll read the book after or before. Then it was a book HAS to be before...but now I'm wondering if it would be better after so I'm not too disappointed. I've never seen or read the Twilight movies, but I get what you mean. There was one line in The Hunger Games that would have been SO easy to add...but they didn't and it bugged me.

      I must agree.

      Oh, I hate when that happens! Thanks for commenting, Sara :)

  10. I always have mixed feeling about books being turned into movies. But I never judge a book on it's movie. I get excited to see how it will turn out, but then... Well, what are we gonna do about it?

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  12. I like book to film adaptations when they're done right. Most of the time, it comes down to casting for me. If I don't buy those actors as those characters, I'm probably not going to enjoy the movie. Another thing...if I haven't read the book in awhile, I've probably forgotten some details that would probably bother me if they were missing, had I done a re-read prior to seeing the movie. Thank goodness I didn't re-read The Host before I saw it. I probably wouldn't have enjoyed it nearly as much. Adaptations have their place, but I still almost always enjoy the book more.