The other day, my daughter and I were watching The Time Traveler’s Wife and I was bawling my eyes out not even five minutes into the movie.
What happened to make me cry?
Oh nothing, I was already thinking about the ending, because I’ve read the book twice and knew where their romance was heading.
The Time Traveler’s Wife was a wonderful book, and I think that the movie did it justice. Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana were perfect for the roles and did a superb job bringing one of the most beautiful love stories of the 21st century to life.
But…it got me to thinking, sure, there are plenty of movies that just don’t live up to the book they are based upon. BUT there have been a few movies over the years that I actually enjoyed far more than the book. I love to read, and I think that I have a pretty great imagination. I don’t usually need a visual to help me create a scene from a book…but there are some books that just lack the definition and detail that make the movie version a real winner.
5 Movies That Were Better Than The Book
1) Hearts in Atlantis, authored by Stephen King. As we all know, many of our favorite movies are based on a novel or short story by Stephen King. Carrie, the Shining, The Green Mile (a screen play)…the list goes on and on. I had read a few King novels in my teens but never really thought anything of him, because I wasn’t really into the horror-story genre.
My friend and I watched Heart in Atlantis one day and I couldn’t stop talking about what a fantastic movie it was. He told me it was actually based on a Stephen King novel, so the next day, I ordered a copy. I found that the movie was only based on one chapter of the novel, and was actually more interesting to me than the novel (even in it’s entirety).
2) Up In The Air, by Walter Kirn. This is one of those scenarios where the plot line in the book and the movie are completely different…and the movie’s is much, much more interesting. The book is just plain weird, with our main character obsessed with a fantasy job and he is basically dying in the end. Blah. In the movie, he learns life lessons and we get a happy ending.
3) High Fidelity, by Nick Hornby. I happen to love the movies based on novels by Nick Hornby, but the novels themselves? Not so much. After finding that High Fidelity was actually based on a book, I ran out and bought everything Nick Hornby had written to date. The movies were all better. In the novel High Fidelity, our main character rambles on much, much longer than John Cusack did in the movie…and it doesn’t end where the movie does – drags on and gets more and more boring.
4) A Christmas Story, by Jean Sheperd. The movie was so entertaining, so funny and sincere that the book, originally In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash, just didn’t compare.
5) Election, by Don Perrota. The book was okay, but the movie? It became a cult classic for a reason: Reese Witherspoon.
I read so much that I began to actually sell some of the ones that I didn’t like very much in order to make room for new ones – just watching a movie is so much easier!
Anne Rice is one author who’s movies never live up to the book. I liked Interview With a Vampire but it was nowhere near as good as the book, and Queen of the Damned just outright sucked.
Stephen King, with the exception of Hearts in Atlantis, is the same way. Both authors are so amazingly detailed in their writing that movies just can’t bring those words to life on screen. Dreamcatcher was pretty good, and The Green Mile was amazing – but there are many more that just don’t cut it. I’m looking forward to seeing Under the Dome on TV, as Stephen King’s television series have always been a little different. I think because they are longer, they have more room to work with and are able to more fully embrace the entire story of the novel.
Are there any movies you’ve seen that you enjoyed more than the books they were based on?