A person finds out that their favorite book is being made into a movie, and there’s usually nothing but excitement. However, according to past movies that have been based off books, the movies struggle in comparison to the novel. Whether it’s changing the plot, removing characters or adding them, or changing the ending completely, readers tend to be disappointed when it comes to seeing the movie, while not in all cases. The Milestone Online looked into some of the best and worst books to movie transitions.
My Sister’s Keeper tells the story of a 13-year-old girl who receives medical emancipation from her parents after being expected to donate a kidney to her older sister who is dying from leukemia. While the movie is known for being a perfect tear-jerker, if a person has read the book, it’s definitely not a movie to recommend seeing. The director decided to change the ending of Jodi Picoult’s novel, outraging many fans who read the book then saw the movie. “The book and the movie had complete opposite endings,” junior Nicole Moser said.
The Hunger Games is the first book to an incredibly popular trilogy that tells the story of a young girl named Katniss who must participate in the nation’s annual Hunger Games, a televised battle in which only one of 24 teens may survive. The movie follows the novel very closely in that it doesn’t change the plot or sequence of events; only very small, hardly noticeable aspects of the book are changed in the movie, making it a movie to see after reading the book. However, many recommend reading the book first, as it is a more fulfilling reading experience, because a reader can create their own images instead of using the ones from the movie. “I liked being able to picture the characters for myself, so I’m glad I finished the book first before seeing the movie,” senior Jenna Hebeler said. “I still liked the movie a lot though.”
The Da Vinci Code is a fiction novel by Dan Brown that follows a symbolist named Robert Langdon and a woman named Sophie in their investigation of a murder that occurred in Paris’s Louvre Museum, in which they end up discovering a battle between Opus Dei and the Priory of Sion on the possibility of Jesus having been married to Mary Magdalene. The novel and movie are both praised in their excellent execution of the storyline, as the movie closely follows the mystery-detective novel. Although the romance in the novel is eliminated in the movie, there are very few subtle changes in the movie. “I liked the book better because it was much more detailed, and it kept me interested,” senior Molly Cardosi said.
The film of The Lovely Bones, a story of a teenage girl who, after being raped and murdered, watches from her personal Heaven as her family and friends try to move on with their lives, is known for greatly disappointing the novel. Many details from the novel are put in the movie without connecting them to the plot, making them pointless in the film. Also, many scenes from the novel are skipped over in the movie. Essentially, the director of the movie changes the novel’s purpose. The novel is worth it; the movie,not so much.
P.S I Love You is a story about a 30-year-old widow named Holly who struggles to find peace and happiness again after the unexpected death of her husband Gerry. The movie is very different from the novel in that many characters are eliminated in the film and the plot is severely altered. However, the novel itself has been given high praise by critics. The powerful novel focuses much on grieving and healing, and is highly recommended if a reader is looking for a good tear-jerker; just don’t see the movie before reading the book.
Harry Potter is a classic J.K. Rowling series consisting of seven fantasy novels about a wizard named Harry and his experiences at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. There are eight films based off the series, the last book being split into two movies, and they all have fans raving as much as the books did. However, the movies still left some details out that were significant to many Harry Potter fans. “The books are better, probably because they gave me high expectations to judge the movies by, and certain details were left out of the movies,” junior Alli Thul said.
The Lucky One is a recently released movie based on one of Nicholas Spark’s many romance novels. It tells the story of a man who is intrigued by a photograph that he thinks is lucky, and sets off to find the woman in the photo. While the characters stayed true to how they were in the book, the plotline significantly changed, leaving many of the book’s fans disappointed by the movie.