Which is better, the book or the movie?
My first reaction is to say the book. Definitely the book! Often when I compare a book to the movie made from it, I see how much richer and deeper the book is--we get inside the character's heads, there are layers of motivation and plot not even touched upon in the movie, and so much more detail.
I just went to the movie version of the Jane Austen Book Club. I adored it. Funny, warm, fabulous characters, great acting--and actual book discussions! So the thing is, I wasn't that enthusiastic about the book. I found it dry and really kind of boring, even though I'd expected to love it. I never actually finished the book either, although now that I've seen the movie I'll go back and read it again. I might even like it better the second time.
This got me thinking. Have there been other instances where I preferred the movie? Well, Brokeback Mountain might qualify. While the short story was excellent for what it was, the movie was far more moving. It had grandeur. So did The English Patient, one of my all time favorites. I also loved the book by Michael Ondaatje, but the visuals of the movie swept me away. The characters came alive (even when they were dead). The book was astounding, lyrical, magnificent, but the movie matched it, in my opinion.
What about the more lowbrow stuff? A lot of Stephen King's books have been made into movies. I'd call them a draw. There have been outstanding examples--The Shawshank Redemption, Stand by Me--and schlocky losers (too many to name).
I'm not a Harry Potter reader or watcher, but I'd guess that most of you prefer the books?
Bridget Jones? Almost a draw, but I've seen the movie several times while I'll probably never read the book again, so I lean toward another vote for the silver screen.
Hmm, come to think of it, maybe my sudden preference for the movie over the book is a case of being too drained from writing all day to read. Not when it's so easy to pop in a DVD and zone out....
Aha! I just thought of one author-who-shall-not-be-named (not my most attractive trait, but I'm still holding a grudge over his attitude toward female romance authors) whose movies are far superior to the books. Message in a Bottle, The Notebook. On that, I shall say no more. :-)
What do you think? Books or movies? Post your opinion for a chance to win a copy of my October release from Harlequin Blaze, MY FRONT PAGE SCANDAL, the second book of the Martini Dares miniseries written with the fantastic authors Lori Wilde (Book 1: MY SECRET LIFE, Sept 07), Jamie Denton (Book 3: MY GUILTY PLEASURE, Jan 08) and Isabel Sharpe (Book 4: MY WILDEST RIDE, Feb 08). I'll choose a name at random and post the winner tomorrow.
Thanks to Lee for inviting me to join the Totebaggers!