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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Books versus Movies

My name is Thia and I am a movie-holic. I love movies. I am a straight-up movie buff. I am also addicted to romance novels. These two things are my vices and I am extremely proud to say that I am not looking for rehabilitation from my addictions anytime soon.

One thing that kinda gripes me is when people complain about movies that are adapted from books. You will hear these people say things like – The characters did not look like I thought they would. Or They left out a bunch of the good stuff. Or The movie just did not capture the message of the book. This is when I have to grit my teeth and not say Well, duuuhh! Of course they are not the same!!

Reading is a journey for your imagination. Unless you are reading one of those books that have bright, pretty pictures on every page, you are in complete control of how you perceive the characters and their actions. The authors are merely our guides. What your mind does with the information it takes in is truly up to you. I have discussed with other readers how we would picture a certain hero or heroine. It is amazing (not really ;) ) how many of us insert ourselves into the role of heroine or hero. Or how many of us see the same character is such completely different ways.

For example, ONE FOR THE MONEY by Janet Evanovich has just begun filming. This is one of my all time favorite books and series. I have always imagined the lead female as a Marisa Tomei or Sandra Bullock as the beautiful, slightly flaky, trouble magnet heroine. However, Katherine Heigl has been cast in that role. Oh, this is something we could debate all day. Who is Ranger? The perfect Joe Morelli is so-and-so. In the end, the actors chosen to play these parts may become our new ideal for their characters. There is no perfect answer for this side of the issue. But it sure is fun to get together and discuss with your friends. ;)

My son is the world's worst critic for books-turned-movies. He always complains about whole storylines being left out. (Especially Harry Potter movies.) What I try to remind him is that in a book, we are given a lot more background detail that does not necessarily need to be in a movie. We read that the boy is walking into a dark and dreary alley that smells of filth and decay. With a movie, we can see that scenario. Also, it is simply too much to ask for to have the screenwriters transfer every aspect of a book and still not have us spending all day at the movies. Can you imagine?

TV series' adapted from books are a particular favorite of mine. Oh, Sookie! True Blood is all the rage among my fellow paranormal reading friends! My hubs, who is very much not a reader, loves the show as much as I do. However, I have to watch myself so that I don't discuss how Eric did this on the show but would never have done that in the book. (And Oh, I love to see what Eric does! Could they have picked a better Eric?? He is not what I had originally pictured, but I love their choice!!)

My solution or final thought on the whole book versus movie debacle – Take them each for what they are. Movies and Books are separate forms of entertainment. Do not compare them, because truthfully, apples and grapples are not really the same thing. One is a version of the other, but they are simply not the same thing.

Now, are there any movie characters or television characters that you think fit your ideas of them perfectly? Which ones far exceeded your expectations and which ones bombed? What book are you looking forward to seeing as a movie? Which one has been the best so far? Which one tanked? Is there a book you want to see as a movie – give us the who, what, when, and wheres!