Girls Write Out
Monday, March 22, 2010

Over the weekend our family went to see "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" at our local cinema grill (The promise of food was the only way to entice our teenagers along.)

Now, I've read some of those books with my 5th grader and figured the movie would be pretty good based on that. Turns out, the movie was even better than the books. If a movie about a bunch of 7th graders can make my 17 year old laugh out loud, that's noteworthy.

It got me thinking about books and movie versions of them. Sometimes the movie version is better than the book, but sometimes the book is better than the movie. The Notebook, for instance. Enjoyed the movie more than the book. Twilight, definitely enjoyed the book more than the movie. (Note to publishers trying to imitate that successful series: Stephenie Meyer's great storytelling made the books hit the bestseller's lists, not the vampires. Just saying.)

When it comes to Jane Austen, I love the movies but don't read the books. I just don't have the patience. Stephen King has tons of movies made from his books, but I'm too big a wimp to partake of either--though I admit to watching most of Misery and liking it. But hey, it's about a novelist, so what do you expect?

John Grisham has had his share of movies also, though I've only read and watched The Firm. I liked both the book and the film. In general, I enjoy Nicholas Sparks movies, but I don't have the patience for his writing, not to mention his sad endings. I can watch a 2 hour movie with a sad ending, but don't make me invest 7 hours of my life and have it end unhappily. But clearly, plenty of readers disagree.

I love movies and books--it's all story, and I'm a big fan of story. Do you tend to like the book or the movie version of the book better? Why do you think that is?

(Why did I post the cover of Driftwood Lane? Because someday I hope it'll be make into a movie. :-)
Denise Hunter  
posted at 8:27 AM  
  Comments (12)
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At 9:23 AM, Blogger Julie said...

I like to read the book before I see the movie. When I do it this way, they can stay separate. If I watch the movie first, I can only imagine the actors' performances and the director’s interpretation. It diminishes the experience for me.

At 10:02 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

I can take a movie over a book, because a book has to be well written or I find myself editing. Not fun. Of course, with a book I can skip to the end and make sure it's a happy one, and I can't do that with movies--unless it's on a DVD at home. Now, with writers I know and love I prefer a book because I get to spend more time in it.

At 11:32 AM, Blogger Valerie said...

I think a great example of a poor movie adaptation of a book or series is Hallmark's "Love Come Softly" series. By the end of the movie series, Janette Oke's classic series was unrecognizable.

Against my better judgement, I also recently saw parts of the movie "Bridge To Terabithia," a book I read and enjoyed repeatedly as a teenager. The movie was awful and such a disappoinment.

I guess I take this stuff too seriously. If the book was good enough to adapt for a movie, why does it need to be drastically re-written for the screen?

At 11:36 AM, Blogger Christine said...

Movies generally disappoint upon reading the book first.

I'd like to comment on Austen. She is one of my favorite authors, but I believe you must love the period and the language to enjoy the books. The morality, etiquette, and nobility of the characters fascinate me. I love to look into the window of a time gone by.

At 11:36 AM, Blogger Christine said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5:23 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

I prefer book first, too, Julie. Yes, Cheryl, that's the problem--can't turn off that internal editor. So much easier to enjoy a movie. I've seen a couple of those movies, Valerie and they drag quite a bit for my taste. I love Austen's time period and language, but not so much that I want the story narrated for page after page. Give me scenes!

At 7:37 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

I like both. I like to see how they're done. But there are certain movies I don't want to see because I know they cannot live up to the book. Examples to me are "The Thorn Birds" I loved both, but for different reasons. They aren't really the same story.

Bridget Jones's Diary. I prefer the movie I think. But I still can reread both of those examples or watch the movie again and again.

I read the Wimpy kid books and I didn't want to see the movie. Though husband took our daughter and she loved it and so did he. The older kids didn't want to go.

At 7:41 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

I ALWAYS prefer the book!

At 8:05 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

K, there's an older teen in the movie, the boy's older brother who likes to torment him. My teens could relate. LOL

At 8:22 PM, Blogger Kameko said...

I tend to like the books better than the movies more often than not. Most of the time, I will have read the book before seeing the movie. Sometimes, that has caused the movie to be a great disappointment to me, but I still will choose to read the books because I love to read! I will admit that "Twilight" was a disappointment as a movie, the same with "Dear John." I've read Jane Austin and the movies made from her books are the one exception for me.

At 10:01 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

Normally, I prefer the book to the movie. That exception was Julie and Julia. The book was so filled with foul language, I didn't read it. But the movie was remarkable bleep-free! It had one f-bomb, but other than that, it was good. I saw the movie first, then knowing my normal preferences, I bought the book. I returned it to get my money back. I've NEVER done that before.

Hannah, it's funny, but if the story is really good, I can silence my inner editor. :)

At 10:24 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Oh, man, I wish I could do that. I edit everything I read except our emails like this. I edit magazine articles, television shows...I don't find myself editing friends' writing unless it's a manuscript that can be changed before publication, and then I'll tell them about any mistakes I see. So far no one has minded. I know I love it when someone catches a mistake I've made before it's out there for the world (or all two of my readers) to see.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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