Monday, 24 October 2011

Books to Film; discuss


Excuse the un-padded-out-ness of this post; but didn't somebody once say that brevity is the most compelling form of depth?*

HIGH FIDELITY
Saw the film. Loved it. Saw it again. Loved it even more although Jack Black character annoyed me.  Saw Jack Black in another film.  Realised he’s just annoying and watched High Fidelity again.  Realised I was in love with John Cusack.  And Joan.  Saw it again.  Insisted friends watched.  Bought it for friends.  Realised there was a book.  Didn’t want to read it.  Set in London.  Couldn’t poss do film justice.  Realised I was wrong.  Film was brilliant.  Book was better (cos book was British?) and was delighted to read scenes in book not in film. Read book again.  And again.  And again.  Stop me if I’m boring you.
Tried to read some other Nick Hornby but didn’t quite hit the mark.

HARRY POTTER(s)
Great idea.  Great first book.  Great first film.  There's a saying about stopping while you're ahead, isn't there?

THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE
Loved the book.  Lent book to daughter.  Loved.  Book lent to others.  Loved.  Couldn’t quite believe how film would work.  Went to watch it.  Didn’t work.  Biggest flaw was Henry the drippy, chinless wonder.  He had a chin in MY book. And a spine.
Didn’t stop me reading Audrey Niffenegger’s ‘Her Fearful Symmetry’ and delighting in that too.  Will still see the film when it’s out. I’m like that.

TWILIGHT
Oh please, just don't even get me started. The book was fine back when Vampires were new an' all. The movie was just mayhem (in the auditorium) with screaming and gasps and lots of tweens taking unauthorised photographs NEXT to the screen before being politely asked to move away.  Just silly.

CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC
(or something, were the first 2 books combined in the movie?)
Liked book. Was bright, breezy and easy to read. But Becky Bloomwood started to annoy me during 2nd in series (are there 12 now?  is she a grandmother yet?) so stopped at 2. Had fond memories of ditsy airhead MC so watched film.  90 mins of my life I won’t get back. Was dire.

SOMETHING BORROWED
Loved book.  Loved book so much bought all books by Emily Giffin and became HUGE fan.  She can’t write fast enough for me.  However, thought film shallow and schmoozy although did love Ethan character, which came to life in the film. Even bigger shame is that sequel; SOMETHING BLUE is being filmed right now. Shall be giving that a miss.

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN
Just finished reading this in the week it’s released in UK.  Am assuming movie will be cross between The Omen and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  Can see it being a hit.  At least with the film, there won’t be unnecessary wordage getting in the way and slowing down the pace.

THE HELP
This book took my breath away.  If the film is half as good (which it couldn’t possibly be) then it’ll run away with awards. 

The thing with books-to-film is that you don’t get the internal dialogue. Hence I always feel a bit cheated.  I wonder ‘but where was that scene where…’ or ‘yeah but, give him/her a break… THIS STUFF is going on in her head’. You have to rely on the actor’s skilful use of eyebrows to convey inner turmoil.  
 
 *No, they didn't.  I made that up.  What? it's called fiction!


6 comments:

Glynis said...

The Help film is good. It stayed close to the book.

The TT Wife: Book I adored...film...hated!

I hate it when the storyline never shines on screen.

MorningAJ said...

Apart from Harry Potter I haven't read or seen any of these. I tend to avoid books that they make films of and films from books. Ever since I saw Contact (based on the wonderful Carl Sagan novel) and they totally changed the whole point of the story I've been averse to book-to-film.

Fionnuala said...

Water for Elephants - Great book but I didn't enjoy the film, possibly because Reese Witherspoon was cast as the leading lady. In my head, she lookds nothing like the book character.
Something I loathe about book to film is when the filmakers completely change the location eg PS I love You (book Ireland, film New York)

Debs Riccio said...

MorningAJ how do you know if a book is going to be made into a film, though - unless you wait a good year or so after it's publication?
Another film I thoroughly enjoyed was 'the Notebook' but that's now put me off reading the book.
Dracula, on the other hand - films - fun, frothy, fangtastical - the book? meh....

Siobhan Mc Laughlin said...

I was really disappointed with the recent film version of 'One Day', which didn't capture the emotional complexity of the book... I suppose just another example of a book that can't translate to the big screen without seeming transparent. I quite enjoyed 'Something Borrowed' - thought it was more meaty than usual rom-com-dramas, I didn't know there was a book of it though! Might check it out so.

Gillian McDade said...

I'm really looking forward to The Help. I'm SO
looking forward to it!