When I published my review of Meet Me in St. Louis, I posted my 75th movie review! In honor of this accomplishment and because it’s still National Reading Month, I’ve decided to participate in a book related tag! I’ve never done a tag on 18 Cinema Lane before, so this will be an exciting post not only to write, but also to share with my readers and followers! For this tag, I will answer a list of questions relating to book adaptations. I first saw this tag on the blog, Madame Writer. Before I begin, I just want to say that all of my answers are based on honesty and my own opinion. This post is not meant to be mean-spirited or negative toward anyone’s opinions/preferences. So, with that said, let The Book Adaptation Tag begin!
- What is the last book adaptation movie you saw?
Meet Me in St. Louis. I didn’t even know this movie was based on a book until I saw the opening credits.
- What book movie are you most excited for?
There’s actually two. The first movie is Rome in Love. While I haven’t read this book yet, it has been on my TBR (to be read) list for a while. Because this book is being adapted into a film, it’s actually encouraging me to read Anita Hughes’ book! The second movie is Words on Bathroom Walls. I haven’t read this book either, but I’ve heard really good things about it. According to his IMDB filmography, it appears that Charlie Plummer will star as the lead character! I’ve seen All the Money in the World and, in that movie, I was really impressed with Charlie’s performance. Like with Rome in Love, the novel’s aforementioned positive word of mouth and Charlie’s involvement in the film are encouraging me to read the book!
- Which upcoming book movie will you definitely NOT see?
After. Based on what I’ve heard about the book (I haven’t read it and don’t plan to) and the teaser trailer that was released a few months ago, the movie appears way too inappropriate for my liking. Also, I have a feeling that the main relationship might be promoted as a romantic one, even though it appears to be problematic. Personally, I just think there are better cinematic stories that are worth my time.
- Which book movie would you NEVER watch again?
The Twilight series and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. For me, the quality of the Twilight films seemed to get worse as the movies went on. I thought the third movie was so bad, I didn’t even bother to watch the last two films. The third movie was also the worst movie I’ve ever seen in the theater. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was the first movie I saw this year (I had never seen it before) and I did not enjoy it. The only two things I liked about the movie were the acting performances and the special effects (both practical and CGI). I have never read any of the Twilight books (nor do I plan on it) or The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
- Is there a movie you saw that made you want to read the book, if you hadn’t yet?
Last year, I saw Oliver! and reviewed it when I received 50 followers. I enjoyed this movie so much, that it was not only one of the best movies I saw in 2018, it also made me want to read Oliver Twist! Yes, I know that the book will probably not have as many light-hearted moments as in the movie. But as long as the story is as engaging as it was in the film, I think I might like the book.
- Conversely, is there a movie that made you never want to read the book?
Lifetime’s adaptations of the Flowers in the Attic series and My Sweet Audrina. As I said in a Word on the Street post last month, these movies are not “Hallmark appropriate”. So, there’s a good likelihood that the books are also inappropriate.
- Name an adaptation that has almost nothing to do with the book it’s supposedly based on.
I can think of two; Something Wicked This Way Comes and The Count of Monte Cristo (2002). Both of these movies made the exact same mistake: they only adapted 50% of the book. While the first half of The Count of Monte Cristo did a really good job at translating the literary material to the screen, the second half of the movie was just a mess. Several important details and story elements were either left out or completely changed. In Something Wicked This Way Comes, some of the plot points and details were exactly like the book. However, there were others that were changed just for the sake of being changed. One example is a character in the film that wasn’t in the book. Anyone who has read the book and seen the movie would know exactly what I’m talking about.
- Have you ever left the theater during a movie adaptation because it was so bad?
No. I don’t go to the theater often, so I try to see films that I either have a strong feeling I will like or that are from a movie series I’ve seen before.
- Do you prefer to watch the movie first or read the book first?
Personally, I try to read the book first so that I can form my own ideas about the text before the movie creates its own ideas about it. But I’m not opposed to reading a book after I’ve seen its respective film.
- How do you feel about movie adaptations that age characters up? (ex. characters that are in middle-school, but in the movies they’re all 18)
I think it’s a case-by-case scenario. For an opposite example, in The Beach House, some of the characters were younger than they were in the book. At first, I was not a fan of this decision. But, when I watched the movie, I ended up ignoring this detail because I was more focused on how good the acting performances were.
- Do you get angry when the actors don’t look like how you thought the characters should have looked?
Again, it’s a case-by-case scenario. I remember when Shailene Woodley was cast as Hazel in The Fault in Our Stars. Her portrayal of the character did not look anything like I had imagined the character to look in the book. However, this difference did not bother me because Hazel’s physical appearance was not emphasized within the book.
- Is there a movie you liked better than its book?
Hallmark Hall of Fame’s The Beach House. I’m currently reading this book (I’m more than half-way through the novel) and I think it’s just ok. The biggest issue I have with this novel is how unnecessarily long it is. In my opinion, I don’t think this particular story needed to be 400+ pages. Because of the story’s page length, it makes the chapters and even the book itself feel longer than it might have been intended. Also, there were things that were included in the book just to satisfy this 400+ page length. In the movie, however, it felt like the screen-writing improved upon the narrative from the text. Only the important story-lines were translated to the screen and the length of the movie was just right. Also, the narrative felt more like a Hallmark Hall of Fame story in the film than it did in the book.
- Name a book that you would love to see as a movie.
Definitely Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby! I think that book would make a great Hallmark Hall of Fame movie!
Have you ever participated in a tag? What are your thoughts on book adaptations? Let me know in the comment section!
Have fun at the movies!