Thursday, March 10, 2016

Name Your Favorite Book-to-Screen Adaptation (Laura)

The novel and film are two different art forms. Books don't always translate well to screen, but given the right care and perspective, the story can take on a different life.

What is your favorite book-to-screen adaptation, and what were some surprising facets the movie brought out that the book didn't? Are there some adaptations you feel didn't do the original justice?

Here are some popular movies based on books. Feel free to name other stories you would like to see adapted to film, play, or other format.

The Book Thief
Pride and Prejudice

The Princess Diaries

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

If I Stay
The Chronicles of Narnia

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


The Perks of Being a Wallflower:


  1. Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightly is my FAVORITE! I think we watch it once a month. (My husband even likes it!) The Narnia movies are amazing to see on screen, but the producers changed a lot of things, so I can't count them as favorites in terms of adaptations. I am hoping they make The Lunar Chronicles into movies! Also, I think the Harry Potter series is well done.

  2. Ooh, fun topic, Laura! I do love the Keira Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice, but for me nothing can ever beat Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy :) I agree that the Harry Potter series was well done, as was the Lord of the Rings series. I hope the Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness gets turned into movies - I loved those books and I'd be curious to see how they would make it work on screen. One of the movie adaptations I was most disappointed by was Ella Enchanted, because it's one of my favorite books but they changed a lot in the movie that made it much cheesier and way less charming than the book.

  3. I certainly like the BBC Pride and Prejudice much better. Not that I'm a fan of the story (my mom adores it), but after reading the book, I think the BBC version is more true to the story than the Keira Knightly version.

    I agree that Ella Enchanted didn't do the book justice at all. Only the basic premise was the same! In the book, she went to finishing school with her sisters. They were much younger, and I liked the prince a lot better. I read the book after seeing the movie, and as much as I like Anne Hathaway, the movie just isn't as good.

    I didn't realize Princess Diaries was based on a book!

    My favorite is definitely the Lord of the Rings trilogy. They are so true to the books, with only some minor changes. They brought Tolkien to life so beautifully. I just finished watching the Hobbit series with my dad, and they were very good too, but deviated from the book too much in my opinion. Not that I blame them very much. They tried to make one book into three movies, and what they did add was pretty consistent with the spirit of the original. Honestly, when I read The Hobbit, I wondered why Legolas didn't show up, or even get mentioned. He was the prince of Mirdwood, after all. The movie brought him in, which I was happy about. I love the elves, but the king was very creepy! All in all, I love how the director brought Tolkien to life. I don't think anyone could have done much better.

  4. I didn't realize Princess Diaries was based on a book either. I love that movie! Though Pride and Prejudice has to be one of my favorite classics ;)

  5. I don't mind it when a movie adaptation doesn't precisely follow the book, so long as I like the changes. For instance, I enjoyed the addition of the Tauriel/Kili storyline in the second Hobbit movie. The Hobbit novel is still one of my favorite books from my childhood, but I can appreciate both versions (book and movie) as separate works of art. In the Prince Caspian movie, I liked the addition of Peter and company attacking King Miraz's castle.

    My favorite movie adaptation would probably be Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Even that movie had some additions that added more suspense to the story, such as when Harry Potter has the Marauder's Map and passes "dead" Peter Pettigrew in the creepy hall. I also really enjoyed the Lord of the Rings movies.

    In the Kiera Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice, I especially like the music and the scenic shots.

    The book I would most like to see adapted for film is The Magician's Nephew, Book 6 from the Chronicles of Narnia series. It's my favorite book in the series, and I think it would translate well to film. I liked the other Chronicles of Narnia adaptations so far, but I didn't love them. I felt they could have done better.

  6. Out of these options, I've only seen the Narnia movies. I liked the first one, but the others were just okay.
    Usually I only like book-to-screen adaptations if I haven't read the book when I watch the movie. I can read the book afterward and enjoy it despite the differences, but if I've already read the book, it not only ruins the movie for me, but it makes the book less enjoyable after that. The best book-to-movie I can think of at the moment is The Giver. I watched the movie, then read the book, and liked them equally well, even though they were different. The changes they made were understandable.
    I would love to see Brian Jacques' Castaways of the Flying Dutchman trilogy made into films- but only by someone who was a fan of the books and wouldn't do anything weird with them. :)


  7. Thank you everybody so much for your comments. I have to add that I absolutely love the Kiera Knightly Pride and Prejudice--and, Melinda, I really like the music too.

    Erin--I think I share your enthusiasm for that movie. :) I haven’t seen it in a while now, but I went through a phase where I was watching it practically every week. I really like the Mr. Darcy.

    Laurie and Hannah--I have never seen the BBC Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth, and now I really want to. I also haven’t read Ella Enchanted so I don’t have anything to compare the movie to, but I thought the scene with the mirrors and the dagger was done well. Your comments make me want to read that book now, too.

    Hannah and Liz--I didn’t realize Princess Diaries was a book either until this past year! It is a ten-book series, and I just bought the first one. I’ve heard it is a lot different from the movie.

    Melinda--I agree with you that adaptations can be fun when they deviate from the original in good ways, though sometimes I am disappointed when I don’t get to see a part of the book I enjoyed acted out. As good as the book If I Stay is, I thought the movie did a better job of mixing the past and present and keeping the past interesting and relevant to the present. Not my favorite book or movie, though I like the theory behind the story.

    And--Brenna--I, too, tend to like movie adaptations most when I haven’t read the books yet--but then it’s not as fun to read the book after you’ve seen the movie. :)

    Nice to hear some of the suggestions out there too, everyone. Lunar Chonicles, Chaos Walking, Castaways of the Flying Dutchman trilogy, The Magician’s Nephew (will they still make more Narnia movies, I wonder…?) A part of me wants to see my two favorite YA books, Bone Gap and Eleanor and Park, as movies, but a bigger part of me really doesn’t want that to happen because I’m afraid they would ruin the beautiful books for me. Plus, I’m selfish, and I want them to feel like my books, and movies make things too popular. :)


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