Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Posted by Jennifer L Hart
Jennifer L Hart for Writers Gone Wild.
So last Friday The Hunger Games made its theatrical debut. Originally I planned on going to see it on opening day but the school system here in NC likes to spoil my fun whenever possible and the kids had a half day. And Monday off. So I'm planning to go today.
I'll admit I wasn't intending to read the books until I saw the theatrical trailer for the movie. Even though they were post-apocolyptic, I'm not a big Y.A. reader. (No sex scenes ;-) But the movie trailer that I saw back in December intreagued me and I went ahead and read them.
Over the years I have watched many books turned into movies and listened to lots of people gripe about how the movie didn't do the book justice. Mention Starship Troopers to my father-in-law and you'll get an earful. Same thing goes for my husband and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. (He actually wanted them to be LONGER!!! Just what we need, more schlepping through Mordor, it's like watching me at Wal-Mart, no one wants to see more of that. Especially me.)
Anyhow, I take a different view of movies that came from books. Chances are, the plot is tighter than any movie script that was intended to be a movie script because you have at least two writers behind the wheel, the one that created the book and the one who writes the screenplay based on the book. The goals are more clearly defined, the characters well established. If I enjoyed the story in one medium, I'll probably like it in the other. With True Grit, I just wanted my agony to end with both the book and the movie. (English class assignment, had to see that sucker through to the gawd awful end.) I understand about time constraints and why certain things are left out and try not to hold them against the movie producers, as long as it doesn't interfere with the telling of the story.
One of my all time favorite books-to-movies combos is Circle of Friends. The book by Maeve Binchy is a fabulous read, set in Ireland post WWII it focuses on college students, young love, Catholic morality and first betrayals. The movie starring Chris O'Donnell and Minnie Driver is almost startlingly different, the ending is completely redone, as are a few of the major events which, having read the book several times before the movie came out, I was able to pinpoint the first time through. But that didn't detract from my enjoyment of both.
Also see my book to movie analysis for One For The Money on The Laundry List.
So what about you? Are you a fan of the book to movie set up? Or do you prefer one medium or another? What's the best book-to-movie tale you've ever seen? The worst? And have you/ are you planning to seen the Hunger Games? Inquiring minds want to know!