Monday, March 10, 2014

The Movie Was Better

Last Monday, I talked about 4 books that I thought were superior to their movie counterparts.  Now I want to point out 2 movies that I liked more than the books on which they were based!  It doesn't happen often because it is hard to improve upon the depth of the written word and movies rarely live up to our imaginations.  Sometimes, though, filmmakers have that special touch.  I suspect that in most instances, I only like the movie better if had issues with the book that I thought were improved by the movie.

I'd love to hear your opinions, too.  Have you seen a movie that you liked better than the book?

The Movie Was Better
{All book titles are Amazon affiliate links.}

I had heard people rave about The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  In fact, the day I checked it out from the library, one of the librarians swooned over it!    It was an easy and captivating read of a young girl who lives with a foster family in Nazi Germany.  I dove into the story right away and flew through the pages. However, I kept waiting for excellency... and I kept waiting.  I kept waiting for something to stand out as the purpose of the book. 

By the time I finished, I was disappointed.  It felt like the story wandered on, building up momentum and then deflating, building again and yet going nowhere.  Even the ending, while emotional, didn't seem to have a point. 

I was interested enough to see the movie anyway.  I went to the theater with a friend who had also read the book.  We both agreed the the movie stuck closely to the plot of the book.  Most of the characters were the same and the plot points weren't greatly altered, plus it kept the original ending.  Already knowing the story going into the movie, I actually liked the movie better.  I still feel the same way about the story-- meh-- but the movie left a better taste in my mouth.

Unlike The Book Thief, I saw the movie of Mary Poppins long before I read the book by  P. L. TraversI have happy memories of watching the movie as a child and humming "Supercalifragalisticexpialadocious" and "Spoonful of Sugar."  I remember learning about women's suffrage for the first time and watching the chimney sweeps dance on the rooftops. 

When reading the book as an adult, I was disappointed.  The Mary Poppins of the book is nothing like her movie version.  She is grumpy and smug, and the book has an overall dark feel. Though I know the author intended her written description to be the true Mary Poppins and the idea of a bubbly, musical Disney imagining was not her cup of tea, I am partial to the movie version.

How about you?  Can you think of any movie you liked better than the book?

Come back next week when we discuss book and movie counterparts that are too close to call.

1 comment:

  1. I also like the movie Mary Poppins better than the book portrayal. Emahry recently asked if there was a Mary Poppins book we could read, but I'm hesitant since I think she'll be disappointed too.


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