Monday, December 24, 2018

Sometimes the movie is better

So often I hear people echo the catch-cry, "Seen the movie?  The book's way better, but that's always the way..."  

I disagree.  

Sometimes a film adaptation elevates a story for me; be it an exceptional score, better pacing, incredible acting, moderation for minorities or a certain narrative tightening, sometimes a big team and/or a big budget can make magic from a book and leave me whispering, "I think I enjoyed that more than I did the book!"  I'm surprised when it happens, because I agree -- often my imagination's direction of a book can't be topped -- but sometimes, sometimes a film moves me in a way its source book does not.

I've been compiling a list of such anomalies for a while.  This is not to say I loved all of these movies (though the ones I did love are marked with an asterisk), it is to say they moved/thrilled/entertained me more than the books from which they are adapted did.  Some of the source books I couldn't even finish (so perhaps you could argue it's not a fair trial?), but I definitely finished their movie counterparts.  I think that's telling.

Here we go.  

Movies that moved me more than their books:
 
Mortal Engines
Never Let Me Go
To All The Boys I've Loved Before
The Princess Bride*
The Davinci Code
If I Stay
Mockingjay 1 and 2
How to Train Your Dragon
Paper Towns
P.S. I Love You
Forrest Gump
The Prestige*
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
Allegiant
The Lord of the Rings* Trilogy (comments are turned off, don't bother)
The Notebook
Stardust*
Jaws


Books I anticipate will be better as movies:
Caraval
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