Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Books to Movies and Expectations

Over the weekend, I saw quite a few disappointed Tweets and FB posts about the Beautiful Creatures movie, and possibly an equal amount of praise. The difference seems to be between those who loved the book vs. those who hadn't read it, or were just okay with the book. I haven't read the book (I'm currently listening to it on audio--difficult for this visual girl, but it makes me take longer walks when I'm trying to concentrate on a story), so I quite enjoyed the movie. I didn't know what to be looking for. My brain was not searching for the differences, or waiting for my favorite scene that may or may not have translated.

I had zero expectations aside from being entertained.

(I will now take this pause to say WOW! Ethan was such a FUN character. I'd see it again just to laugh at his lines.)

I like to think that even if I had read and loved the book, I still would have enjoyed the movie for what it was. I think when it comes to movies made from books, you have to consider them two different things. Creations from two different people/groups of people. I flipped this way-of-thinking switch several years ago after watching an interview with the author of P.S. I Love You. She basically said: The book is my baby. The movie is someone else's baby, based off of my book.

Then again, maybe it's just my personality to be able to separate the two. I will admit to being nervous before seeing The Hunger Games adaptation, but despite the differences, I was entertained. I was moved. I enjoyed it. The book and the movie are two different things, and I'm perfectly fine with that.

And I understand that for some, flipping that switch might not be quite that easy. But there is a bright side for you to consider. Even if the movie tanks, the book sales still go up, and that's never a bad thing for anyone.


  1. For me, there must be a big gap of time between reading the book and seeing the movie. If I see the movie immediately after reading the book, I usually won't like the movie. Also, it's better to see the movie first because the book is always better. You probably won't be disappointed if you go from movie to book, but chances are you will be disappointed if you go from awesome book to a movie that won't fulfill your expectations.

  2. I've neither seen this movie nor read the book, so I think I'll go see the movie first because I usually always like the book version better! The story sounds fantastic. And I think with a movie adaptation, there will be always be readers who love it and readers who hate it... can't please everybody.

  3. You're definitely right. You just end up being less angry at movies if you can accept it for its own thing.

    Also, i love the spam comment above mine. Cracks me up

  4. I still can't wait to see this movie. I read the book so long ago that I can't remember any of it anyway! HA!!

  5. you know, i forgot to ask what you thought about this flick. It looks very intriguing!